- Our Union
- Our Industries
Published: 3 Jul 2014
The environmental and community damage being caused by a major Australian mining company - Oceana Gold - in the Philippines and El Salvador is being exposed with the help of Victorian Branch Secretary Kevin Bracken, who has supported the campaign for years.
Bracken visited El Salvador in 2013 on a fact finding mission as part of Australian union support for communities in El Salvador and the Philippines in their fight to stop Oceana Gold from exploiting and polluting their water supplies.
“Chemicals such as cyanide are used by mining companies to leach gold from the rocks,” Mr Bracken said.
“In 2012, the Salvadoran Ministry of the Environment found that the San Sebastian River had nine times the acceptable limit of cyanide and one thousand times the Salvadoran standard for lead in potable water.
“In the Philippines, fertile, arable land is being blasted away to make way for gold and copper mines owned by Oceana Gold."
Mr Bracken said unions wanted to raise awareness in the Australian community that similar ISDS legislation, which is being used by Oceana Gold to sue the government of El Salvador, is being included in four Free Trade Agreements currently being negotiated by the Federal Government.
"If the Abbott Government pushed ahead with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) it would leave Australian organisations and Government open to be sued by multi-national corporations," he said.
On the last Friday of every month KEvin Bracken joins a protest outside the Oceana Gold offices in Melbourne.
To find out more go to the campaign website: Water Not Gold.
Watch this short video for more information: