Clarence Catchment Alliance

The Clarence Catchment Alliance is a non-partisan, all-inclusive, non-profit, volunteer group lobbying for a ban on mineral mining in the Clarence Catchment. 

The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) is based in the Clarence Valley, Northern Rivers of NSW, on Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr, and Yaegl Country. The CCA was formed in 2018 and is grassroots, non-partisan, all-inclusive, non-profit, volunteer group facilitating our community’s call for a ban on mining in the Clarence Catchment and its surrounds. The CCA operates as a sub-group under the Clarence Environment Centre (CEC).

The CCA stands to protect our water, environmental, social, cultural, and economic wellbeing from proposed mining, exploratory or active.

The CCA lobby for changes to legislation to exclude mining from areas of unique and high conservation value, from water catchment areas, and in areas of cultural significance, such as those here in our area.

And, ask also for the cancellation of the 41+ existing Exploratory Licences (ELs), 16 Mining Leases, 4 Mining Purpose Leases, and 2 Gold Leases within the Clarence Catchment because of the threat tailings dams pose to our waterways and water source in this very high rainfall and flood zone.

In particular the CCA (and CEC) is asking the NSW Government and our allies to:

  1. Support and respond to our call for a moratorium on future mineral mining, both exploratory or active, in the Clarence Catchment and surrounding Local Government Areas that feed our water source, and revoke existing exploratory licenses, in recognition of the Clarence Valley’s importance for threatened species and ecological communities, such as the Eastern Freshwater Cod and Koala.
  2. Join our calls to the Minister for Planning to amend Schedule 1 of the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 to add the following as prohibited development:
    • mineral mining and mineral exploration in the Clarence Catchment and surrounding Local Government Areas that feed our water source.
  3. Seek to amend the NSW Mining Act 1992 to prevent mining and mineral exploration occurring in major urban drinking water catchments, culturally and environmentally sensitive areas, and across the Clarence Catchment and surrounding Local Government Areas that feed our water source.

Our CCA campaign has grown tremendously and the length and breadth of it are limitless at this point. We know that this is going to be an exhausting fight, but we have the strength to manage its longevity. We do know that with over 40 exploratory licences held in our area this fight, unfortunately, could run for decades and we must make plans now to ensure our community is best represented early in the granting process of mining licences. We need to make noise now before it’s too late. We will continue to fight for as long as it takes to gain the results, we set out to achieve, and if this is not possible, we plan to put a very strong and aggressive delay in mining company proceedings. 

We are dedicated and our community is standing united!

No promise of mining jobs or apparent boost to our local economy can ever outweigh the potential negative impacts on our environment, water, lifestyle, food source culture, or economy, nor can it outweigh the potential decimation of the millions of dollars and employment our existing local sectors, all reliant on clean water, already provide

We have 175+ years of heritage industries; timber, dairy, seafood, cattle, sugar cane, as well as macadamias, blueberries, distilling and tourism sectors at risk. We form the eastern gateway to Australia’s food bowl and provide the countries seafood. These sectors provide local, state, and Australia wide benefits, and stimulate neighboring industry and infrastructure.

Clarence Valley industries contributed the following to resources, travel, food, the economy and employment during 2019-2020:  

  • Agri-food generated over $500M in GRP with 1018 agri-food businesses employing 2,451 people
  • Combined agriculture, forestry, fishing, and food manufacturing is worth $746M and employs 3,987 people o 
  • 2257 registered farms contribute $4M in farm rates to Clarence Valley Council
  • 230 registered fishermen, the largest NSW combined offshore and estuary fleet worth $463M, provides 650 jobs and tones of famous Yamba prawns annually to Sydney’s famous restaurants and fish market 
  • Tourism is worth $188.5M, with 565 registered businesses, employing 1257 people. The total value added was $93.8M

The Clarence Catchment Alliance’s (CCA) purpose is to:

  • Unite the Clarence and greater Northern Rivers community through education and affirmative actions against proposed mineral mining in the catchment.
  • Defend the biodiversity of the Clarence Catchment, our right to clean water, and our community’s environmental, social, cultural, and economic well being
  • Lobby to exclude mining from areas of unique and high conservation value, from water catchment areas, and in areas of cultural significance.

The CCA’s momentum increases weekly, and uniting, supporting, educating, motivating, persuading, and empowering our community is our core focus. Alongside this, we are putting pressure on our elected NSW representatives, local governments, and environmental regulators, to place constraints on the mining industry. 

The CCA acknowledges the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr, and Yaegl Nations as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live, operate, and campaign for. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging and recognise the ongoing connection of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their Country, land, rivers, and sea.