An open letter to Rod Smith, Regis Resources

river painting 2

Dear Rod,

It was a pity that you ducked away early from last night’s Council meeting.

Had you stayed after your presentation, you would have been able to put faces to the names of those who have voiced their various opinions – for and against – about your proposal to buy Bathurst’s recycled water which translates to denying 8-10 million litres of water a day from the Macquarie (Wambool) River.

Had you stayed, as the full chamber of residents did, listening with interest to a record breaking, vibrant, feisty, public question time and waiting for the Council vote, you would have heard a wide range of concerns, issues and experiences. And yes, you would have felt our passion, our emotion.

In your submission you caution Council to be wary of emotive opposition, but we, as residents, as ratepayers, tree changers, fisherman, business owners, and proud Bathurstians all, we are the ones who choose to stay rather than blow through, and we have every right to be passionate about this issue.

This is our home.

The river is our lifeblood.


So let me caution you Rod.


Bathurst is a region with smarts. It’s a region with talents. A region of creatives. Of academics. Of people who know and understand the land. It’s a region with history and heritage and a seductive landscape that creeps into your soul and the Macquarie (Wambool) lies at the centre of it all. So when you visit our home I would ask that you treat it, and us, with respect.

People have told me during the week that it’s standard practice for mining companies to offer sweeteners to local businesses and organisations. It might be standard practice but that does not make it honourable.

I assume now, Regis’s energies will be focused on delivering up an Environmental Impact Study to support your DA. An Environmental Impact Study that your company will commission and pay for.

Well, when that’s ready, we will still be here.

Ironically your proposal has brought us all together. And we are stronger for it. This campaign has reminded us what an eclectic, brilliant, egalitarian and resilient community Bathurst is. And when new people, and businesses, come to this region we want them to come – as Cr Jess Jennings said last night – as family.

The foundations are laid. Bathurst is drawing a line in the sand Rod. We’re suggesting it’s time the mining juggernaut in this country learnt where the brakes are. And in the years to come we hope Bathurst will be known as the region that stopped the runaway mining freight train.


We all learnt something last night.

Had you stayed you would have learnt it too.

It’s the Wiradyuri word for respect and go slowly.



Yindyamarra Rod.

Have a good day.




To anyone interested, please join the Don’t Mine The Macquarie Facebook group.

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    1. Penny Stevens
      Posted 18 February 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      What a superb letter. Congratulations on fighting with such strength and spirit for something so important. I’m in awe of your eloquence and passion.

      • Marg
        Posted 18 February 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Penny. It’s been pretty special watching the community come together on this one. It’s a first time for many of us. I think that speaks volumes in itself. x

    2. Geraldine
      Posted 18 February 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      On again Marg brilliant and perfect xx

      • Marg
        Posted 18 February 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Geraldine. I reckon we can do it.

    3. Norah
      Posted 18 February 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Great letter Marg,
      I live so far away so don’t have a dog in this fight but I read with horror what Regis were wanting to do.
      Can your group commission an Environmental report? Only a thought, which you have probably already considered.
      Keep up the fight, I wish you well.

      • Marg
        Posted 18 February 2016 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        I’ve wondered whether we could crowd source one. Thanks for the support from afar Norah.

        • norah
          Posted 18 February 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, maybe do a “Tim Minchin” and get one of your local well known singers to produce a single like Tim did re Pell. The sales were in excess of $125,000 in a very short time! Go for it! Good luck!

    4. Helen Bergen
      Posted 20 February 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    5. Posted 8 March 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      WOW. x Bloody mining. Bloody Australian Government. When will they learn it is time to transition away from this blood sucking energy industry to a sustainable one?

      • Marg
        Posted 8 March 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        When I was little we used to go for family picnics in and around the Hunter Valley. Steve and I drove through it last year for the first time in decades. My eyes were like saucers. I couldn’t believe that all that beautiful, rich farmland had become a horizon of giant slag heaps. The scale of it was enormous. It was very sad to see.

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