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17/03 - Majors Creek community has its say about gold mining

The Majors Creek Community Liaison Group was established at a well-attended community meeting on 17 December 2009. Those present agreed that the purpose of the group is for the community in Majors Creek and Cortona Resources, who are looking to develop a gold mine nearby, to move forward collaboratively with the goal of maintaining the standard/quality of life and community spirit present in the area, before the development of the gold ore body.

It was also agreed to appoint a Liaison Committee to help progress the goals of the group. That group is soon to be incorporated. The views expressed at that meeting were used as the basis for creating a community survey which was conducted both online and through distribution of hard copies until the 8 February 2010. The results of that survey have been available on the Majors Creek Community Website (http://www.majorscreek.org.au) since 16 February.

A second community meeting was held on 15 February 2010 where the results of the survey were discussed. The meeting endorsed its Liaison Committee members to formally approach the company with a view to negotiating a legally binding document with Cortona that addresses the issues identified by the community through the survey.

The top ten priority issues that the community respondents to the survey would like addressed are:

1. Regular and open dialogue between the community and Cortona;

2. The land affected by the mine site to be fully rehabilitated after completion;

3. The tailings dam to be environmentally secure, to be placed out of visual sight from the village and, if possible, removed from the site at completion of the mine;

4. Full disclosure of any arrangements entered into by Cortona with Palerang Shire Council;

5. Any damage caused to our property by the mining operation to be repaired fully at CortonaÔÇÖs expense;

6. Restriction of the driving of heavy vehicles/trucks during certain hours of the day;

7. No further expansion without detailed and timely consultation with the community;

8. The Majors Creek Road upgraded, including widening and fully lined;

9. Preference given to employment of local people, including the provision of training if necessary;

10. Mill to be placed so that it is out of visual sight from the village.

It is stressed that the group is neither against nor for the mining activities at Dargues Reef. As per the purpose stated above, the group wishes to work with Cortona to achieve the best possible outcome for the residents of Majors Creek, whether the mine goes ahead or not. To that end a meeting between Mr Peter van der Borgh and members of the Liaison Committee will take place on 19 March 2010 and all residents of Majors Creek will be kept informed of any progress through the Majors Creek Community Website. http://www.majorscreek.org.au

Bill Waterhouse

Chairperson, Majors Creek Community Liaison Group

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