The Macleay Community is invited

to an


Clybucca Update Poster_2017-02-20-MSpdf

Date: Saturday March 4th – 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Venue: The Oddfellows Hall, 22 Kemp Street (opposite NORCO) West Kempsey

Presenter: Max Osborne, Senior Land Services Officer, North Coast Local Land Services

Cost: Gold coin donation

Clybucca Wetlands is a large area of land, some      10 km² kilometres or 10,000 ha, on the northern side of the Macleay River floodplain. It lies east of the hills, west of Yarrahapinni Wetlands and is divided by the new Pacific Highway dual carriageway.

   The Clybucca wetlands has been described as an “Estuarinescape Twilight Zone” by those who are exploring opportunities for its rehabilitation. The wetlands, including Mayes and Doughboy Swamps have sections which are at or below sea level, were once thriving wetlands and drought-poof refuge pastures for graziers prior to being modified by drainage, particularly in the 1960s to 70s under the extensive flood mitigation and drainage scheme.

The drainage and gates installed causes the Acid Sulphate Soils (which are found below the alluvial topsoil) to dry out during times of low rainfall. When “re-wetted” by rainwater, acid run-off along with often water containing low levels of dissolved oxygen flows into the estuary. This discharge, combined with resultant iron leachate/flock and other dissolved metals such as Aluminium, severely degrades water quality, impacting fishing and oyster industries, quality of pasture and soil health, tourism potential, and biodiversity.

Max Osborne, Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services, collaborating with a government inter-departmental working group, has been working towards rehabilitating this significant area of back-swamp and wetlands for the past 3 years.

SOMR encourage you to attend the presentation to see what ‘behind the scenes’ progress has been made and the opportunities for future progress.

Please support and share what is potentially a rare ‘Good News’ story, endeavouring to bring Clybucca Wetlands from the “Twilight Zone”- Back to functioning wetlands, with improved water quality, estuary dependent industries, recreational opportunities and healthy environment.

The progressive restoration of the smaller Yarrahapinni Wetlands to the east and downstream has shown that restoration is not only possible but happens relatively quickly. It is now a thriving estuarine wetland with greatly improved fish and bird habitat and with regenerating mangrove and saltmarsh Endangered Ecological Communities.

This project is supported by North Coast Local Land Services, through funding from the National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW

For a print version of the poster go to Clybucca Update Poster_2017-02-20-MSpdf

Hillgove Mine News

Operations are still on hold while some exploration for viable gold deposits is carried out.

In 2015 Hillgrove Mines lodged a DA to expand mining operations to Clarks Gully. The site is part of the Hillgrove Mine lease. The proposed development would allow continuing mining after the orebody at the current excavation site is depleted. SOMR lodged a submission detailing concerns about the effects of the work on the health of the Macleay River catchment (see the post on this website October 2015) 

18 months after submissions were lodged with the then Dumaresq Armidale Council, the application will finally come before the newly amalgamated Armidale Regional Council’s meeting on Wednesday,1 March.

In preparation for the Council meeting there will be a site inspection on Monday, 27 February. Anybody who lodged a submission can attend. SOMR President Arthur Bain will speak about our concerns at the Council meeting.

Mine rehabilitation – What do they owe the land?

On 5th February SOMR representatives visited a property in the Rockdale region near Armidale. Unsatisfactory efforts have been made to rehabilitate an unused mining lease located on a private property.

The issue was brought to SOMR’s attention because of its potential impact on the Macleay Catchment via the Wollomombi River. There are concerns about land stability, soil contaminants entering the waterways and plastic rubbish brought onto the site in poor quality mulch intended to replace topsoil.

Read more  What Do They Owe the Land

Save our Macleay River Update

SOMR’s Paddle with the Macleay River Festival:

It went smoothly with 18 boats registering including the Dragon Boat. An easy paddle past the Riverside Park up to Euroka Creek, where drinks and home made cakes were waiting. Paddlers could relax and chat on that beautiful part of the riverbank before heading back as a “flotilla” where they received a great reception from the Festival participants. The festival was short on river activities, with those that were there receiving a good response .

There was a lot of interest in our Information Stalls (both at Euroka Creek and Riverside Park) with some new members signing up

All in all we felt it was worth the effort and would be happy to repeat the exercise next Festival.

However we are planning to organise another one of our “serious” paddles, probably next Autumn so as not to clash with the River Festival in Spring. This will be from Bellbrook to Nook Creek, taking about 4 hours.

Other news:

  • No news on the Hillgrove Mine front regarding the outcome of their EIS for a proposed underground mine at Clarks Gulley. Things seem to be progressing slowly as is the way with many stakeholders being involved.  A decision was to have been made in March, so we are conducting a ‘watch and wait’ position. Our enquiries will continue.
  • We have purchased a copy of the Dunn & Bradshaw report on the structure and composition of the Hillgrove Company. We can make it available to anyone is interested in reading it.

We are working with Southern Cross University who are adding their research on the river to that of University of New England.

Related issues:

  • We have put in a submission opposing the Baird government’s proposed land clearing laws and encourage anyone concerned about maintaining or improving our remaining vestiges of biodiversity in this state to join the campaign. You can ring Baird directly on 85745000 or email him through their web portal For more information you can contact Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC who is running the campaign. We feel this is relevant to our mission.
  • Another relevant campaign is to stop the privatisation of bodies like ASIC. To sign the petition go to the GetUp link:

     Not much time left to act on these two causes, so don’t delay!