Friends of Big Hill ramp up fight against Stawell Gold Mines

FRIENDS of Big Hill members will ramp up their campaign against Stawell Gold Mines' plan to mine the landmark hill in Stawell.

FRIENDS of Big Hill members will ramp up their campaign against Stawell Gold Mines' plan to mine the landmark hill in Stawell.

FRIENDS of Big Hill members will ramp up their campaign against Stawell Gold Mines' plan to mine the landmark hill in Stawell.

Northern Grampians Shire Council has given in-principle support to the project.

Group member Wendy Saunders said the group would stage a 'sunset celebration' on Sunday to escalate public opposition to the mine.

"It's a David and Goliath fight," she said.

"Stawell Gold Mines come armed with their QCs, their experts and their consultants and we're just ordinary people who have to live here."

The sunset celebration will aim to get people together to express their feelings for the hill.

Mrs Saunders encouraged people to bring a camera, lantern or torch to enjoy the hill.

Northern Grampians councillor Wayne Rice said he respected the rights of the Friends of Big Hill to protest.

"I would ask those people to respect other people's rights and positions," he said.

"There are people who support the mine who are concerned about their livelihood and how they're going to provide for their families.

"We have to look at the best interests of the whole community and not just a small part, which is the noisy minority."

Cr Rice said the protesters were yet to provide an alternative plan for economic development for Stawell.

"They haven't come up with any job creation, any alternative uses or projects for the site," he said. "Don't go criticising me if you can't come back with constructive criticism.

"They've had ample opportunity and as much time as anyone else to suggest alternatives."

Mrs Saunders said Friends of Big Hill would deliver pamphlets to Stawell residents urging them to write to Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

"Big Hill is an icon for Stawell and it's the only hill we have," she said. "It's a natural formation and it has been used by people of Stawell ever since they've lived here."

She said the group had about 20 active members, but she believed many more community members were against the mine.

Cr Rice said the mine was in the long-term interests of Stawell and was essential for continued growth and development.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop