Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps


nowa nowa

Nowa Nowa mine proposal moves to approvals stage

The following update is an excert from an article in The Age, journalist is Jason Dowling.

Surge of activity could see Victoria playing mine host

nowa nowaVictoria could soon boast a new commercial iron ore mine amid a surge of mining activity.

A combination of increased mineral prices and a supportive state government is driving a rejuvenated local mining sector with hot interest in exploration licences.

This week Eastern Iron advised the stock exchange it had moved into the environmental approvals phase for a commercial iron ore mine at Nowa Nowa, 30 kilometres from Lakes Entrance.

The proposed East Gippsland iron ore mine would be in the Tara State Forest, and would include a 25-hectare open pit.

The mine would have a span of about 10 years and produce about 1 million tonnes of iron ore a year to be exported from near Eden.

Eastern Iron’s managing director, Greg De Ross, said he did not believe there were environmental reasons to prevent the mine, and said the area had already been heavily logged.

”It is certainly not pristine wilderness,” he said. ”There are no show-stoppers from an environmental perspective.”

For a background on this proposal, check here.

Mingling Waters Music Festival

January 18 and 19, Nowa Nowa, East Gippsland

Mingling-Waters-Music-Festival-logo-colour-300x223From the organisers:

Mingling Waters Music Festival is a small, grass-roots, high quality, well-organised, community-focused, family-friendly music event, supporting local artists and business, promoting Nowa Nowa as a special place to visit.

We plan to bring new and interesting artists in from the wider community.

We aim to create a scene that brings people together to talk, listen, play, and dance and celebrate together, in a beautiful natural environment!

It is a high priority to pay and look after all the participating artists as best we can.

We hope to do well enough to donate to two local charities, The East Gippsland Rail Trail and Melon’s Cottage.

There will be a small market, including food stalls, a bar, workshops, children’s activities and FINE MUSIC!

Check here for details on the artists.

Check here for details on tickets, accommodation, etc.


Nowa Nowa residents have mixed feelings about mining project

nowa nowaThe following article comes from the ABC, journalist Jenni Henderson.

Check here for a background on the project and details on the community consultation process that has been happening. Leaving aside the direct environmental impact of the project, there is the key issue of what impact a large number of large trucks on the narrow Princes Hwy will have on locals and tourists.

Residents of Nowa Nowa and surrounds are expressing mixed feelings about the prospect of the Iron Ore mine being established seven kilometres north of the town. Mining company Eastern Iron is now putting together a feasibility study for the mine and has held community information sessions in Nowa Nowa, Lakes Entrance and Orbost.

The company estimates about 200 people have attended the sessions so far, to learn more about the project.

The mine still requires environmental and planning approval from the State Government.
Neil Smith a Nowa Nowa resident says the community has been ignored in the decision making process so far.

“I’m not just talking about the mining company. The East Gippsland Shire are in the process of negotiating a memorandum of understanding but they don’t see that’s there’s any need to talk to community before they reach an agreement,” he says.

Mr Smith says he feels that there has been no opportunity for the community to reach a consensus on what they want out of the mining project.

“If it’s ten years of mining and ten years of jobs and then nothing except a big hole in the ground and some potential environmental damage then there’s no benefit,” he says.
Nowa Nowa needs the cash flow and employment opportunities a mine would bring, says Paul Oakes, president of the Nowa Nowa and District Business and Tourism Group.
“Nowa Nowa is a very small community; it just needs the funds in. It’s pretty quiet, of course the mills have all been cut right back and forestry is cutting back on the harvesting so it’s sort of shrinking, the area is shrinking really,” he says.

Mr Oakes says the business and tourism group is concerned that East Gippsland Shire Council is representing the Nowa Nowa community in signing a memorandum of understanding with the mining company.

“It’s pretty hard for us to get any services from the shire except the basic ones. We’d prefer the mine to deal directly with the development group that’s here,” he says.

Helen Shields, a Nowa Nowa resident, says the mine proposal has the potential to divide the community.

“Communities always have dreams about things they can do for their area which improve them. Of course people want work, of course people want a future for their children to stay here but nobody’s had those conversations in relation to the mine,” she says.

Ms Shields has concerns about any environmental and social impacts the mine could have on the town.

“If there is explosions happening here 24 hours a day for 10 years I don’t believe that it won’t impact on this catchment area,” she says.

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