Get out to the 'Gambe!

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby Allchin09 » Sun 12 Jul, 2015 8:23 pm

Hello,

Earlier this month, in what the EPA has called a major environmental incident, a waste pile at Clarence Colliery near Lithgow collapsed and slid downhill into the Wollangambe River. This river is within the Blue Mountains National Park and very popular with both bushwalkers and canyoners. Here is one news article from the Sydney Morning Herald on the event - http://goo.gl/nT2P7H

A facebook group has been created with the purpose of getting people out to the site to inspect and survey the damage which this spill has caused. If you want to get involved, let me know or visit the group here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1418903 ... ef=browser

A trip is planned for this weekend, 18-19 July.

What do you think we as bushwalkers can do to help?
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby melinda » Thu 16 Jul, 2015 6:56 pm

This youtube link shows the river and Centennial Coal’s clean up efforts!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGOBXuT ... e=youtu.be
Please take the time to watch all the video!
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 22 Jul, 2015 9:02 pm

A short tv segment on the spill was aired on Prime7 tonight, showing some of the damage caused.

https://au.prime7.yahoo.com/n3/video/-/ ... -disaster/
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 22 Jul, 2015 10:17 pm

Does anyone know what's in that sludge? Fine coal chips or with various chemicals?
Just move it!
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby melinda » Tue 28 Jul, 2015 11:47 pm

Heh GPSGuided,
Think it is coal fines, but who knows.
A friend send me this photo recently.
This is the dam that was behind the coal wall. The liquid goop (as we call it!) breached the wall and flowed down a gully into the headwaters of the Wollongambe.
From what we can figure out the goop is coal and water and who knows what other by products of mining. It looks like oil, but washes off in water.
Dam behind coal wall.jpg
Dam behind coal wall
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 6:37 am

Nasty.
Just move it!
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby north-north-west » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 2:17 pm

Yucketty yucks.
Should have the management out there licking 't river clean wi' tongue . . .
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby melinda » Wed 29 Jul, 2015 4:37 pm

Yes north-north-west!!!
We have made many similar suggestions.
Problem is river turns into canyon like sections downstream and it's freezing out there at the moment.
Centennial clearly had no clean up plan, and my understanding is EPA can't figure out how to clean it up either!
And in the meantime ...river continues to ail!
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby DaveNoble » Mon 03 Aug, 2015 4:58 pm

I went out on the inspection on Saturday. We went to two spots - one about 1 km downstream of the pollution entry point into the National Park, and the other about 2.5 kms downstream from that point. In both places the riverbed was covered with thick blank gunk and the water in the river was black. It was terrible! At the downstream inspection point, there was a side creek flowing into the Wollangambe River. The water in that side creek was clear. This demonstrates conclusively that the black coloured water and black sediment is due to the pollution from the mine rather than any residual charcoal from the October 2013 bushfire.

WollangambePollutionAug15-1.jpg
Wollangambe River - black from pollution
WollangambePollutionAug15-1.jpg (157.15 KiB) Viewed 9001 times



It looks like the coal company - Centennial Coal have cleaned up the area near the spill and put in stabilisation controls to prevent further spills, but they don't seem to have cleaned up the pollution in the Wollangambe River.

WollangambePollutionAug15-4.jpg
WollangambePollutionAug15-4.jpg (154.71 KiB) Viewed 9001 times


This pollution is spreading further down the Wollangambe River every day!

WollangambePollutionAug15-6.jpg
Clear water in the side creek meets the polluted water in the Wollangambe River
WollangambePollutionAug15-6.jpg (156.5 KiB) Viewed 9001 times


I have more photos on my blog - http://www.david-noble.net/blog/?p=8584 as well as links to documents.
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby north-north-west » Mon 03 Aug, 2015 6:15 pm

Gawd, that is revolting! Is there any way to apply pressure to Centennial to get them to clean this up?
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby LachlanB » Tue 04 Aug, 2015 6:06 pm

Wow, that looks awful. At $120,000 a day from early June Centennial must owe almost $4 million by now :(
Do you think a major flood would remove the fines from the river, or just spread them down the rest of the River and into the Colo and Hawkesbury as well?
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby Allchin09 » Wed 14 Oct, 2015 12:31 pm

Well a few months have passed since I've last posted here. Clean up of the river has finally started, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be very effective, see attached photo.

This weekend I'll be heading out with a group of people to survey the length of the effected area to see how much work has been done, and what the state of things are downstream. If you're an canyoner (lots of river walking and the possibility of a few swims) and you'd be interested in coming along, please let me know.

Wollangambe Not Clean.jpg
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby pinpakweb » Tue 17 Nov, 2015 1:00 pm

This is r really awful. Maybe us people can get together and form a group to help each other out - one place at a time.
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby Mark F » Fri 14 Jul, 2017 4:29 pm

"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby clarence » Sat 15 Jul, 2017 12:41 pm

Interesting result- probably appropriate.

Even though the company stuffed up, at least they took responsibility for the accident and went to great lengths to fix it- which is a very good response to a bad situation.

When Keith Muir says the result (highest fine ever by EPA) is not enough, it really shows how out of touch and radical such groups are (and why I am no longer a member of Colong Foundation).

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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby rcaffin » Sun 16 Jul, 2017 6:05 pm

When Keith Muir says the result (highest fine ever by EPA) is not enough, it really shows how out of touch and radical such groups are

Or perhaps how out of touch YOU are. $1M is a rather small fine for such a massive amount of damage.

Cheers
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Re: Get out to the 'Gambe!

Postby clarence » Sun 16 Jul, 2017 8:14 pm

rcaffin wrote:
When Keith Muir says the result (highest fine ever by EPA) is not enough, it really shows how out of touch and radical such groups are

Or perhaps how out of touch YOU are. $1M is a rather small fine for such a massive amount of damage.

Cheers
Roger


Or maybe how out of touch you are....

youtube.com/watch?v=D00M2KZH1J0

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