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ARCTIC DRILLING August 26 2015

Dear Readers,

Shell would like to be seen as environmentally responsible. Its PR machine makes all the right noises. However, actions speak louder. This company is right now drilling in the Arctic, with a high probability of disaster.

Apart from the risk of devastating oil spills, we must slow climate change, by getting off humanity's addiction to carbon fuels. The oil of the Arctic must not be used.

Shell should put its resources into developing and marketing alternatives. It is being left behind. Either change, or die.
I refuse to buy petrol and other products from Shell until it reverses its decision to drill in the Arctic. Please pledge to join me.
Sign this petition to declare your boycott of Shell.

Dr Bob Rich


Dear Friends,

  It is hard to ask for help again, but there is no choice. I am frightened for the life and safety of those I love. I am frightened for myself, too.  If you value a rich farming valley, a Conservation area that is a major corridor for migrating birds and endangered species, or my work and wish it to continue, we desperately need  your help.

Three years ago Coastwatchers and SERCA won stringent conditions for a proposed gold mine to operate above our valley home. We thought we should be safe.
But the sediment dams failed in the first three day rainfall. In the six months before work halted in 2013, large drifts of sediment filled the deep holes of the gorge to about a third of their depth. Much is still there. The company was convicted in the Land and Environment Court for three pollution events.
Now the company wish to change the Conditions of approval of that mining venture by Modification to allow them to process the gold ore on site, using cyanide. Instead of the heavy metals lead, zinc, cadmium, uranium and other potentially deadly heavy metals being trucked, these heavy metals  will sit in a tailings dam on the steep site at the top of the Major’s Creek/Deua/Morura catchment, above  Eurobodalla’s water supply,  and farms and businesses and households.

If  --or when- there is an overflow, this tailings dam is only ten minutes away from us as the water rushes down the slope below the mine site and over the escarpment.
One major cyanide spill could be deadly to us, to our near neighbours and to the endangered wildlife of the valley. An accumulation of small spills will be deadly too, as the heavy metals gradually build up in the soil t of the riverside farms and orchards, to harm today's children and children as yet unborn.
Unity Mining does not pretend there will be no spills. It admits there will be, but says that they will be diluted by rain. This is unproven and even if it were to be the case it presumes the spills will occur when it is raining- a rash assumption in this area. The company ignores the fact that  as they refused to test the creek on our property during and after the previous the pollution events they did not see that as the water slows and reaches the pools, the pollution can be even worse than on the steep land immediately below the mine site as the water slows and the heavy material settles or fills the pools. 

Nor have the company seen how thunder storms break above their site, sending flash floods far greater than their estimate of 1 in 1,000 year events crashing down a dry watercourse. 

Given the history of work on the site in 2013, a major failure or series of small failures seems inevitable. So called ‘world’s best practice conditions’ failed in 2013. Why will it be different now?        

Cyanide processing or ore rich in heavy metals should not happen next to a village above a major farming and tourism area..

 A cost-benefit analysis should be done to see what would be gained in exchange for running these risks. One insignificant cyanide processing plant threatens businesses ... including the production of my books ... that bring in far more money to NSW and Australia than would be returned to the public coffers by mining royalties or job creation.

Cyanide processing of ore containing  lead, zinc, uranium, arsenic, copper should not be allowed in the water catchment system  that supplies water to a hundred thousand people nor above a NSW State Conservation Area with twenty-three rare, vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species reliant on it and is a major bird migration corridor.
Once the tailings dam is built above us by a company with five pollution episodes that affected the creek below their site for most of the six months they operated in 2013 in the six months they operated I could not, and would not, ask others to risk coming to our property. But I will stay, because I am too much part of this land to leave.

Please, help.
Submissions to the Modification must be made by 26 August . through the

Department of Planning and Environment website:  )

Project Application number is 10 0054 MOD 3.

Use the online submissions form at:

If you have trouble with this process pone the Planning Information Centre 1300 305 695 or

Contact Officer: Phillipa Duncan 02 9228 6451

Objections can also be posted.

Quote: Project Application number is 10 0054 MOD 3.

Send them to Planning Services

Department of Planning & Environment

GPO Box 39, Sydney NSW 2001

Attention: Executive Director - Resource Assessments and Business Systems.

Please …copy email this to anyone who can help by sending in a submission. 

If you wish more information, please email me, The modification the company is seeking to its conditions is based on inaccurate and incomplete data, and there is much more that can be said.

And again apologies for having to ask. This is not just for my survival, but for the animals, the land and children yet to come.

Jackie French

Australian Children’s laureate 2014-2015

2015 Senior Australian of the Year


Feel like rolling up your sleeves and mucking in?

You can lend a hand to help save the wild valley where Jackie French lives.

Unity Mining's Dargues Reef box cut entrance near Majors Creek.
The wild valley where Jackie French lives, near Braidwood in southern NSW, is under threat from a gold mining company that now plans to use cyanide processing for their gold operations on Majors Creek.  Read more from the ABC here:   Jackie needs help.  If you know of any any good ecotoxicologists, zoologists with experience in wildlife birds fish frogs etc and pollution, or anyone who can write submissions, please contact Jackie. Email here (please address all enquiries: attention Jo Mills).
You can also use sample letters to write your own submissions.

Download the samples here

This valley is the heart of my life and my work. Please sign if you can, and pass it on to others.
So many thanks,