MDEG is greatly concerned at the delay in the handover of land on the Goulburn River at “The Drip” Ulan near Mudgee to National Parks Wildlife Service, to become a State Conservation Area. Recently we wrote to many MPs seeking their support in resolving this long-standing matter.

Here is what we told them:

In 2013 crown land along the river and around the Great Dripping Wall was sold to the Moolarben Coal Mine Operations. The local community and others far and wide were outraged and joined together to bring about change. With the help of the Liberal, National and Labor parties progress was achieved.

The land in question is of critical importance to the conservation of The Drip and the Goulburn River for future generations and the preservation of the cultural significance of this site. It has State Heritage listing as a “Significant Landscape”.

In recognition of this fact the NSW Government, in 2014, made a commitment to long term public management aiming to ensure the maintenance of public access and preservation of the river corridor to the Great Dripping Wall. Planning approval for coal mining was given on the understanding that there be “Nil” water and subsidence impacts in The Drip area.

A Deed of Agreement between Moolarben Coal Operations and the NSW Government signed on 5th March 2015 gave Moolarben Coal Operations a period of 2 years to complete the transfer for this land to become a State Conservation Area. This was to be finalised by March 2017.

This process has stalled. The agreement has still not been fulfilled. Mining is going ahead and new modifications approved regardless of the fact that Moolarben Coal Operations is not meeting the conditions of the Deed of Agreement.

MDEG has, over the years, made many enquiries as to what was causing the delay and asking when the handover was due to happen. Currently, the members of MDEG are aware that there has been yet another change in ownership with the Joint Venture Partners at Moolarben. This seems to be an administrative issue affecting how the subdivision parcels are registered and is holding up the transfer of the river corridor and access to The Drip into a State Conservation Area.

Mudgee District Environment Group wishes to express our concerns over the constant delays in the transfers of land in and around The Drip. We request that you take action to facilitate a speedy resolution of this matter. Please do all you can to ensure that the handover be finalised and that all the lands be securely under the management of National Parks.

We’ll shout it loud and clear to all, when this handover is finalised!

Then The Drip will have protection at ground level!