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Don’t forget to read : "In the Press" for all current and past bauxite articles covered by the Toodyay Herald!!!

Questionnaire

We would like to thank those of you who have participated in our recent  Morangup questionnaire, but we urge everyone to take part.

Since the questionnaire was delivered it has become apparent that the Felicitas and Fortuna resources could both end up being 100% owned by the peoples republic of China (PROC) to read more visit the link below.

If you are opposed or supportive of the proposed mines, then we respect your point of view, but please take part in the questionnaire, as the results will give AHMAG a true indication as to the real percentage of our community who are either for or against open-cut bauxite mining on the doorstep of our community.

If you have misplaced your questionnare, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Brian Dale direct on 0418 898 788 and he will see that you receive another one.

Non-binding memorandum of understanding between Yankuang and BRL.

AHMAG

Breaking News: Termination of BAJV Looks Imminent

Yangkuang Resources which is a State owned company of the People’s Republic of China and who currently  own 70% of BAJV, looks set to become 100% owners of the Felicitas Resource and will buy out the 100% BRL Fortuna Resource, if a non-binding Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) regarding the dispute between Yangkuang and BRL becomes reality.

NON-BINDING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR RESOLUTION OF DISPUTE AND TERMINATION OF JOINT VENTURES WITH YANKUANG

Representatives of Bauxite Resources Limited (‘BRL’) , Yankuang Resources Pty Ltd (Yankuang), and Yankuang Group Company Ltd (‘YGL’)’), on 21 October 2015, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) recording that they have negotiated a number of proposed transaction documents which, if approved by therespective Boards of Directors of BRL, Yankuang and YGL will see, subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent referred to below:

  • The existing Joint Ventures between the parties terminated;
  • BRL sell its interests in the Joint Ventures and its 100% owned Fortuna bauxite rights to Yankuang for cash consideration and a royalty right; and
  • BRL buy back Yankuang’s shares in BRL and cease to be represented on the BRL Board.

With the Chinese free trade deal all but finalized.

100% Chinese ownership of the Felicitas and Fortuna Resources?

What will this mean for Toodyay, Wundowie, Wooroloo and surrounding areas???

Read the entire article by clicking here.

AHMAG

Council Elections

Saturday the 17th of October saw our democratic process elect four new faces to the Toodyay council and we would like to congratulate the new councilors.

With four new faces entering council, it also means that four councilors have lost their seats.

It was surprising to say the least to see Rosemary Madacsi, who is an environmental scientist, toppled at a time when our communities and the environment are under increasing threats of the effects of landfill and mining in the Toodyay Shire.

Rosemary has spent hundreds of hours of her time fighting the Opal Vale land fill proposal, not for herself, but the shire as a whole and for that, we say Thank You.

We would like to also say Thank You to Andrew Mcann, Chris Firns, who lost their seats and to Rosemary, for providing the much needed checks and balances that is required while on council, because decisions made, or money spent by council is derived from our rates and can affect us all.

A special thanks to Danielle Wrench for running in the West ward and representing Morangup on an anti-mining platform. Losing by only 7 votes is an outstanding effort, given there were 5 candidates.

Let’s hope that the new look council will represent the Toodyay Shire and all of their constituents in an open, honest and transparent manner in all aspects of council.

AHMAG

Morangup Timber Reserve

If you live at the Northern side, or the Western end of McKnoe drive, or the Western end of Red Brook Circle in Morangup and feel you are far enough away from the proposed Felicitas mine not to be greatly affected if a proposed mine were to go ahead, then you may wish to re-think your position on open-cut bauxite mining in Morangup.

Bauxite Resource Limited (BRL) still have an Exploration tenement pending over the Morangup Timber Reserve, which wraps around Morangup and encroaches into the Avon Valley National Park and into the Northern end of the City of Swan.

BAJV have recently released an updated Frequently Asked Question flyer on their FB page, stating that they will not be mining the Avon Valley National Park or Conservation Reserves, but the 30% JV part owner, BRL have an Exploration Licence number 70/3537, still pending over the Morangup Timber reserve, parts of the Avon Valley National Park and the Moondyne Nature Reserve, as well as the entire Julimar Brook from Julimar Rd. While live tenements E/3366 and E70/3159 cover a large area of the Swan Shire.

There has always been a question mark hanging over why BAJV / BRL wanted to include Gidgegannup representatives on the Bauxite Mining Community Advisory Group (BMCAG) because to date there have been no announcements as to any intention to mine in the Swan Shire.

We believe that anyone remotely close to any tenements being held by BAJV / BRL need to stand up and be counted in opposition to open-cut invasive bauxite and other mining in the Perth Hills and Avon Valley, or complacency could see mining on your doorstep sometime in the not too distant future.

There will be people who say AHMAG are just scaremongering as most of the State has live tenements over it for exploration. While that may be true, there are two exploration companies in our midst who have aspirations to be miners and if they get a foothold in Morangup, Wooroloo and Wundowie, then other tenements being held by them, can soon become mines after dangerous precedents are set to mine in the Perth Hills and Avon Valley.

Visit this map and then zoom in on the yellow Morangup peg and view the tenements for yourself. If you click on the green areas, tenement numbers will be shown. The purple area is the pending tenement.

With council Elections being held on Saturday the 17th of October, make sure you vote for Candidates in your council Elections who do not support mining. While local governments cannot approve or reject a mining proposal, under clause 120 of the mining Act they do have a say and you want your councilors to do just that on your behalf, or we may all live to regret the future outcome.

Please like us on Facebook and get your family and friends to do the same. We need to get the word out even further and with your help we can do just that.

It is not too late for people power to win this fight, we can save the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley, we still have time so lets not waste it.

“Together We Will Be Impossible To Ignore”

AHMAG

Alliance along the Darling Scarp

Its official,
 
• The Avon and Hills Mining Awareness Group (AHMAG) in
              Morangup, led by Brian Dale

• Residents for Responsible Mining (R4RM) in
              Bindoon, led by Clair Medhurst

• The Community Alliance For Positive Solutions (CAPS) in
              Yarloop, led by Vince Puccio

All three groups have agreed to an alliance along the Darling Scarp, from Yarloop to Wannamal (Near Bindoon).

The aim of the alliance is to protect the Darling Scarp from the destruction that open cut invasive mining and refining has on the environment and the effects that 24/7 mining operations have on residential, peri-urban, semi-rural and rural communities.

Going forward the biggest resource on the planet will be food production, therefore our collective groups believe that productive farmland should be protected at all costs.

Climate change is very real and previous well known inland farming areas are becoming more and more marginal due to a lack of rainfall.

Properties along the Darling Scarp are still well known for reliable rainfall and therefore all farmland along the Darling Range should be listed as priority farmland and protected at all costs and not destroyed by mining.

With this in mind, AHMAG, R4RM and CAPS have pledged support to one another to rid the Darling Scarp of any new bauxite mines and refineries. This will not happen overnight, but with your help it will happen!.

If you haven't done it already, visit our individual FB pages, like the page and ask your family and friends to do the same.

The AHMAG slogan has long been “Together We Will Be Heard” but with this new alliance, We will become impossible to ignore.

AHMAG:
http://www.ahmag.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/avonandhills

R4RM:
http://www.r4rm.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Residents-for-Responsible-Mining-R4RM/134094453322146?fref=ts

CAPS:
http://caps6218.org.au/
https://www.facebook.com/CAPS6218

Important Reminder

Department of Environment and Regulation (DER)

“Separation Distances” (Buffer Zones) Submission Opportunity!

The DER have published and released a draft document which gives the public the opportunity to comment on “Separation Distances” From Industries such as Mining, Chemical plants etc and the acceptable distance from your Residence.

It is important to note that currently, if your house and outbuildings are at the rear of your block and are say 300 meters from your boundary and a proposed neighbouring industrial operation across the road is required to have a Separation Distance (buffer) of 1000 meters from the nearest residential property, then the required set back from your boundary is only 700 meters.

What this has done is erode your rights by enabling the proponent to use the 300 meters that you are away from your boundary as “THEIR” buffer zone.

Why should you care?

What if at some point in the future you decided that you wanted to build another dwelling for a B&B, granny flat, or maybe even split your block into two lots, but because 300 meters of your property has now been labeled part of the industry buffer zone, the 300 meters of YOUR property is now sterile and can no longer be used.

In the case of bauxite mining or refining there are no separation distances, because the buffers are done on a case by case basis, depending on topography, location of crushes, conveyors, red mud lakes  etc, etc.

Many people are of the opinion that separation distances from bauxite mining to the boundary of a neighbouring property (Not your house and outbuilding) should be a minimum of 5km and in the case of a refinery it should be a minimum of 10 km.

Submission:

Your submission can be in the form of a letter and does not need to be complicated, but it is extremely important to have your say.

The cut off date is the 19th of October 2015.

It is paramount that anyone who intends to lodge a submission, also insist that any separation distance MUST start at your boundary and not from your home, pool or any outbuildings, as this is your land and does not belong to the proponent to be used as their buffer zone.

A full copy of the DRAFT separation distances document can be found by clicking on the link below.

http://www.der.wa.gov.au

AHMAG

Toodyay Agricultural Show

The AHMAG army were back on the ground in Toodyay at the Ag show on Saturday and as usual we were out in force collecting signatures on petitions in opposition to the proposed bauxite mines by BAJV and BRL.

AHMAG would like to thank the Toodyay Ag Society for what was a great day and not even the hot weather could keep a steady flow of concerned people from signing our petitions.

We still have trouble understanding why the Toodyay Ag society would accept sponsorship from an exploration company that have aspirations of becoming miners, when 70% of the proposed resource is on productive farmland.

Extractive industries and companies like Austral Bricks who extract clay for basic raw materials for bricks and the like, have co-existed with farmers and communities for decades, but there operations are always localized in the areas of extraction on small 10 or 20 hectare locations, unlike the proposed 62 km2 area that BAJV / BRL plan to mine.

The Toodyay Agricultural Show offers a forum for local businesses and producers to exhibit, display and participate in different arenas, eg. cattle, sheep, goats, home produce and many more. The Show displays unique exhibits by local artists and crafters and has an extensive entertainment programme.

How exactly does open cut bauxite mining over a vast area which will destroy productive farmland in what is an extremely reliable rain fall area fit into the category suitable for an Agricultural Show?
BAJV / BRL do not even have a business model up and running, so they can be hardly classed as a local business.

They are both exploration companies who have aspirations of becoming miners.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia is a member-based not for profit organisation which works year round to promote primary industries and have close links to regional agricultural societies and livestock breed societies.

They support community and junior sporting groups which use Claremont Showground. They encourage regional and agricultural students through their involvement in educational scholarships and competitions which enhance the skills and opportunities of young people. The Perth Royal Show competitions benchmark excellence across a range of industries including wine making, beer production, dairy, food production, clothing production, the arts and sport.
They recognise the achievements of individuals through the Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Community Rural Achiever and the Rural Ambassador competitions and those are the values that we thought agricultural Societies stood for.
 
It is confusing to say the least why the Toodyay Agricultural Show would align themselves with any company that is not only intent on destroying thousands of acres of productive farmland, but has also divided a community on the issue of whether or not mining in the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley is an appropriate use.
 
AHMAG

Vote in the Council Elections

“Council Requires Good Governance”

October 17th 2015 will see candidates from different wards within all shires throughout WA facing their constituents with the hope of becoming a councillor.
Some councillors will be up for re – election while some new faces will challenge in the hope they can help mold the Shire into what they feel will be better for the communities in which they will serve.

The 2015 Toodyay Elections will see a total of 12 candidates vying for 5 seats. One seat in each of the Central, North and East Wards, while the West Ward because it is a bigger area will be contesting two seats.

The candidates that we believe will represent the Toodyay shire with integrity, vision and in an open, honest, and transparent manner are as follows:

CENTRAL WARD
Andrew McCann – Up for re - election

NORTH WARD
Rosemary Madacsi – Up for re - election

EAST WARD
Chris Firns – Up for re - election

WEST WARD
Danielle Wrench - New Candidate
Sally Craddock – Up for re - election

All candidates are worthy of the challenges that we all face within our communities and have pledged to view all proposed developments within the Toodyay Shire with open minds on  social, environmental, tourism and long term merits and issues of each and every proposal that comes before them as a councillor.

We wish all of the candidates well with their campaigns.

AHMAG

 

Have you ever visited the Avon Valley National Park?

The Avon Valley National Park
The Morangup Timber Reserve
The Morangup Nature Reserve

Have you ever visited the Avon Valley National Park?

It is another one of those wonders that very few people actually realize is on the door step of the metro area right here in the Perth Hills. The community of Morangup know exactly where it is, as it is literally on the doorstep of their own community adjoining the Morangup Timber Reserve.

The Avon River, which is named Golguler by the Darling Range Nyoongar people, runs through the center of the Avon Valley National Park as it rushes downstream through the high rocky hills and outcrops to join the Swan River in the Walyunga National Park near Bells rapids and Brigadoon.

The Avon Valley National Park, the Timber and Nature Reserves are all cherished neighbours of the close knit community of Morangup and these Parks and reserves are home to many different species of Flora and Fauna.

To the horror of most locals there is a new neighbour wanting to move in next door “BAJV / BRL and Mining” many believe these companies and mining will be the neighbour's from Hell and will bring with them all of the negative effects that full blown open cut bauxite mining has on local communities and the environment.

Did you know that under the mining Act, Timber and Nature reserves have no real protection from mining and even National Parks can be mined, it just takes longer to get approvals?

Imagine if the Felicitas mine is approved and in 10 or 15 years’ or maybe even less, the proposed miners move the operations into the Morangup Timber Reserve. The Morangup community would have mining on 3 sides, being the West, North and already proposed Eastern side of the community.
 
Some believe that open cut bauxite mining is nothing more than a big gravel pit and that the effects will be minimal, but most understand that mining here is a massive threat not only to our community, but to the environment itself.

Any approvals to mine alongside these reserves and the local communities will only see:

  • 24/7 noise from Heavy machinery including surface miners, dump trucks, dozers, excavators etc.

  • 24/7 noise from reverse beepers.

  • 24/7 noise from crushing plants.

  • 24/7 noise from a 20 km conveyor feeding the crushing plant.

  • Blasting.

  • Dust clouds from the mining operation.

  • Contaminated rain water from dust containing Silica and other harmful substances (Reticulated scheme water is not available in Morangup)

  • Losses to ground water which will be used for dust suppression.

  • Destruction of native vegetation and bush land.

  • Over time trees near mine pits will die from the lack of ground. water and moisture.

  • There will be Changes to the way in which water flows into creeks, rivers and ground water recharges.

  • Destruction of farmland when top soil is removed and the bauxite ripped out all the way down to the clay bed.

  • Losses to tourism along the tourist route.

  • Losses of jobs in tourism and other sectors.

  • Losses of jobs in organic farms due to crop contamination from dust etc.

  • Light pollution, which will destroy our beautiful dark night skies.

  • Desolation of plant and animal species.

  • Losses to property values.


How exactly does mining fit in to this location, or into the lifestyles of the Communities of Morangup, Wundowie or Wooroloo who all call this beautiful area home?

Don't forget to like us on Facebook and ask your family and friends to do the same, we have nearly hit 1,000 unpaid likes so your help to get there would be much appreciated.

AHMAG

Click the image below to view or download a larger PDF version.

IMPORTANT.....Information From AHMAG...

Council Elections Are Here !!!

Vote on Saturday the 17th of OCTOBER 2015

Did you know that most rate payers do not vote in Local Government Elections and candidates often get in unopposed?

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MORE IMPORTANT TIME TO CAST YOUR VOTE.

Do you live in or near Morangup (Toodyay Shire), Wooroloo (Mundaring Shire) or Wundowie (Northam Shire)???

What do your current councilors and new candidates think about open cut bauxite and other forms of invasive mining???

Do they Oppose mining???

Do they Support mining???

Do they have a neutral stance on mining???

Local Councils can have a say, but we need to make sure they do!.

Generally councils party line, so to speak, is to have a neutral stance on mining, as mines are approved and regulated at a State and Federal Government level and not a local one. However under clause 120 of the mining act, your council has the opportunity to speak out on behalf of their constituents. They can say whether or not mining is a suitable use in a proposed location. What will your council do?

ASK your current Councilors for a YES or NO view on mining!

ASK your new candidates for a YES or NO view on mining!

WE must have councilors who are not afraid to stand up to be counted, as a NEUTRAL view point on mining is as good as a YES.

If your councilors do not have the gumption to speak out about important issues, then within a short space of time your shire, the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley will be destroyed by mining forever.

Only you can make changes in your council. So put all of your candidates under a Magnifying Glass and ASK them the hard questions. Insist on a straight YES or NO answer on bauxite mining and any other issues you may have.

Only then will you get to the TRUTH about what decisions will be made on your behalf behind closed doors.

Please remember to VOTE on Saturday the 17th of October 2015.

AHMAG

Response To a Recent Post on the BAJV FB page

Local Jobs or Locals Snubbed

Firstly the term “locals” is being used quite loosely, as most people who live in the Toodyay shire would class themselves as locals, while people who live in another shire would not be viewed as being locals to Toodyay.

Some "local" Toodyay Shire Residents will be hoping to score a job if a mine ever eventuates, but they will have to compete with “locals” from other areas such as Wundowie, Gidgegannup, Northam, Wooroloo, Bakers Hill, Chittering, Parkerville, Mundaring and surrounds.

That’s without the DIDO jobs from the city.

BAJV state that there are no current skills shortage and that the majority of jobs will be filled by “locals”. Locals to where exactly? How many jobs will be given to Toodyay locals?

It is noted that the BAJV Facebook campaign has been very successful attracting interest from many unemployed mine workers from everywhere who are all “locals” to where they live, even if it is on the East coast of Australia. This has taken Facebook likes from 129 to 1,312 in just a few months.

How many of the people who have liked BAJV’s page in the hope of a job will get employment if and when a mine ever gets approved? How many Jobs are on offer again?

Then there are the 457 Visas. BAJV state that in the current labour market we don’t see any benefit in 457 Visas, but falls short of saying they will not use them. Infact the statement goes onto say that there could be some technical or management exchange with Yankuang.

So it could be said that the 457 door is already open.

The FTA is very open to interpretation and the link below will place even more balance on it.

http://abc.net.au/news

Opalvale Tip Fight Continues

An Update From Rosemary Madacsi

WITHOUT PREJUDICE
COURTESY UPDATES ARE A PERSONAL COMMUNICATION AND NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF COUNCIL

My apology to everyone for not maintaining my commitment to keeping the community informed. Unfortunately a heavy work load, Opalvale, Moondyne and life in general conspired to absorb my time since February. The short brief of Opalvale is to bring everyone up to date who may not have read the Toodyay Herald.

OPALVALE – (we are not dead yet!)
• In February 2015 the Opalvale proponents appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) for an extension of their planning deadline (27 February 2015), in order to amend and submit a revised works application to the Department Environment Regulation (DER). DER had issued a ‘intent to refuse’ (their application) in the December due to the environmental issues raised by the community. SAT asked Council’s position on the extension and following advice the extension was granted.

• The Opalvale proponents then applied to Council for an extension of this planning approval deadline. Council unanimously refused the extension at the July Ordinary Council Meeting.

• The Opalvale proponents then appealed again to the SAT on the 17 August against Council’s decision to refuse their extension. Before a hearing was undertaken at SAT, the DER issued Opalvale’s work approval subject to conditions, 27 August (their planning approval deadline).

Note: this is not an approval to have the landfill but to engage in the construction of the first stage with the proviso that conditions set by the DER are met. A works approval is to meet the environmental factors, planning approval is still required. Planning approval is dependent on the conditions set by SAT and the issuing of the works approval. If either of these are not met, the planning approval ends. If DER is not satisfied the works approval conditions have been met, they can refuse to issue a license and the landfill cannot progress.

The conditions set by DER largely reflect community concerns and are generally quite strict. However some of the major water concerns raised by the community and acknowledged by the DER and Golder Associates, have not been covered.

• The core group met yesterday and will again next Saturday to finalise a community appeal – I will give you an up-date next Saturday of the core issues to appeal for.

• We as a community can only appeal the conditions of the works approval (as a third party). The aim is to ensure the conditions are as rigid as possible to protect against ‘failure’ and environmental contamination. We are however investigating other options.

• We recommend anyone contemplating an appeal, download the conditions from the DER ‘licensing’ website and compare these against the SAT orders (planning).

AHMAG Have been strong opponents of the proposed OPALVALE tip and will continue to HELP where we can and that is why this post is on the AHMAG FB page.

If you are contemplating an appeal yourself and would like a copy of the SAT orders, please let us know HERE and Rosemary with forward a copy to you.

AHMAG

Reality Check … Reality Check … Reality Check …

“Community Members Should Boycott the BMCAG”

The Bauxite mining community advisory group (BMCAG) is set up to aid BAJV / BRL to eliminate community concerns and to speed up the process in regard to their EPA / DER referrals.

Members need to remember the following points:

Members were chosen by BAJV / BRL to help calm the community in order for the proponents to tick the EPA / DER boxes as part of the approval process.

Members are being asked to give feedback and personal input into the design and operation of the mine to assist them, NOT us.

Members may all have the very best of intensions in mind, but by working with BAJV / BRL in any form they are accepting a mine with conditions on behalf of the whole community and they have NO right to do so, as most of the community does not won’t a mine HERE under any circumstances.

Members will never be told any information that will harm BAJV / BRL in anyway, as the meetings are run by BAJV / BRL and chaired by their paid employee.

Members do not represent the majority of the community, as members were chosen by BAJV / BRL and therefore the BMCAG is not recognized by the majority of the community.

Members are now playing a much bigger role in the BAJV / BRL propaganda machine as they have allowed you to choose the new BMCAG members from Morangup and now it appears that the group is in control, BUT THEY ARE NOT, members are merely being used as puppets by the proponents.

This is a Quote from Bill Moss GM of BAJV.

With both companies working together the synergies generated would improve outcomes for the companies and the community. The BMCAG will help reduce any confusion and help facilitate better feedback into the design and operations of both projects.

Members are merely being used as puppets and BAJV and BRL are the puppet masters.

"We Need To Work Against The Proponents, Not With Them"

AHMAG

State Election March 2017

Opal Vale Tip Gets Approval at the 11th Hour

Who would have ever thought that a proposal to dump Perth’s rubbish in an old clay pit on Salt valley Rd on the Perth side of Toodyay would ever be approved, but that is exactly what happened on Thursday the 27th of August 2015.

Opal Vale was always a disgusting proposal which has ended with a very disappointing outcome not only because of the potential threat to the environment and neighbouring properties, but for the many locals who travel Toodyay Road to and from work every day and will now have to contend with another 300 truck movements a day on one of the worst roads in WA.

The battle for Opal Vale is lost, but mining is still our biggest threat. The environmental issues of Opal Vale remain, but the foot print of the site is relatively small compared to proposals by BAJV / BRL, which will creep across the country side like a cancer destroying everything in its path for a minimum of 25 years and may well bring a refinery with it, somewhere in our region.

The war continues so let’s lick our wounds, pick ourselves up and learn from what has happened, we need to lobby our politicians, we need to march on Parliament House. How many of us will be prepared to attend rallies to make our politicians and council sit up, listen and take notice, because that is what is needed.

People power and numbers is the only thing that will make our pollies listen. Communities have fought and won in other parts of WA and Australia and we can win HERE, because it is both socially and environmentally irresponsible to propose mining alongside 900 residents.

We must not give BAJV / BRL a social license to operate here, that means boycotting the BAJV / BRL bauxite mining community advisory group (BMCAG) and everything it stands for.
 
There is a State Election Looming in March 2017 and now is the time for our community to come together and fight like hell against the proposals to mine alongside our properties in Morangup, the new Mauravillo Estate and the affected residents in Wundowie, Wooroloo and beyond.

Given approvals are granted by the State Government we need to unite as a community to fight against mining HERE, where we all collect our own rain water and draw water from shallow bores.

Very few people in our community want 24/7 mining with dust, noise, light pollution, loss of amenity, property value losses and the environmental and social issues it will bring.

“Together We Will Be Impossible To Ignore”

AHMAG

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