In 1961, the Victorian Government granted Alcoa a lease for fifty years over 7221 hectares of land in the Anglesea district, to operate an open cut coal mine and a power station to provide energy for its aluminium smelter at Pt Henry, Geelong.
This land is known today as the Anglesea Heath. Alcoa began its mining operations in 1968, and since then, 300 hectares of Anglesea’s beautiful and highly diverse heathlands have been dug up in Alcoa’s coal mining operations. The fifty-year lease expires this year, 2011, and Alcoa is requesting an extension of the lease for a further period of fifty years, to continue their mining and electricity generation operations.
No one can deny that Alcoa has made a positive contribution to the Anglesea community, but as conservationists, we can no longer stand aside and watch the destruction of our remnant piece of heathlands, which are nationally and internationally significant. It is true, that over the years, Alcoa has endeavoured to revegetate the mined areas, but no one can recreate a heathland!
ANGAIR asks you to read the Anglesea heathland brochure carefully, and, if you feel strongly about this issue, as we do, please take action as suggested on page 4 of the document. This can be done by mail, e-mail or directly online through the Geelong Environment Council or the National Parks Association.
Download the Anglesea heathland brochure here.
Margaret MacDonald — ANGAIR representative on the Anglesea Heath Consultative Committee