Social Impacts and History

“Maules Creek is situated at the foothills of the Mt Kaputar National Park and is truly amazing countryside. The rugged and enchanting landscape hides a deep rich black soil, perfectly suited to farming. As a result the region harbours some of the country’s leading cattle studs. Water flows from the mountains, trickling through Melaleuca lined creeks to arrive as clear as crystal. Many beautiful locations along the river provide captivating hideaways to have a picnic or just enjoy the presence of nature. The size and grandeur of the Nandewar Ranges viewed from the Maules Creek area is truly spectacular”.[1]

Beautiful country – the view from Maules Ck north to the Nandewar Ranges

Maules Ck is a beautiful rural area nestled in the shadow of Mt Kaputar, a place where farming and conservation has reached a kind of equilibrium.  Maules Ck will be changed forever by the proposed mines from a small thriving farming community into a massive industrial zone.  The community is suffering severe decline as miners buy up properties and the future is one of dangerous coal dust, noise from traffic and explosive use, and declining productivity.

The local community has already been heavily effected by the mines, and the future is even more uncertain

Families and communities that have deep roots in the area now fear for their future.  The Laird family have been farming in the Maules Ck area, just north of the Leard State forest, for six generations. The State Forest was named after their forebear, William Laird, who ran a small sawmill in the area.  Wilma and Bruce Laird and three of their five sons still run farms in the Maules Ck area. Phil Laird is the president of the Maules Ck Community Council which was created to represent the community in challenging the mines.  You can read more about their story and watch a short video here.

Country Scones vs Big Coal:  The Maules Ck community holds a picnic protest in the shadow of the Boggabri Coal Mine

Many local community groups have expressed their concern about the impacts of the mines on the Maules Ck community.  You can see the submission that was made to the Maules Ck coal project by the Country Womens Association here.  In it, they describe the proposed mines as a threat to their community, saying that:

A number of local farms have been purchased by the mining companies for mining purposes, buffer zones and native vegetation offsets with further purchases intended.  Families of long standing in the district are having to move away taking with them friendships, agricultural businesses, and their roles in the community.  The reduction in the number of community members is a threat to the ability of the community to carry on and the next flood, accident etc will see more stress on those who remain.

The local women express their fears for their community with needlework.