Speaking up on quiet concerns: Greens candidate Karis Sanderson

Majors Creek was, as expected, found to be one of the quieter booths on election day.

Greens candidate Karis Sanderson was enjoying the relative peace of the polling day in the afternoon sunshine with husband Dr Brian Sanderson and friend Guy Hayes.

“I don't expect to be elected as I'm not one of the top names,” Mrs Sanderson said.

The concerns she listed for consideration by the incoming Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council included “drugs, alcohol and gambling. There's quite a lot of that, even in Majors Creek, and quite a few of us Greens are concerned with those issues.

“Also, to preserve our village,” Mrs Sanderson continued. “I wish we had influence over some of the buildings going up, but we don't. So that's another issue.”

But of all matters of interest to Majors Creek, Mrs Sanderson spoke at length on the proposed Dargues Reef underground gold mine, 13 kilometres south of Braidwood.

It “is likely to begin next year,” she said. “Thank heaven the cyanide was stopped.”

A proposal to use cyanide in processing was abandoned in 2015. The gold mine is in the upper catchment of the Deua-Moruya river system, which supplies stone fruit farmers in the nearby Araluen Valley before flowing down to a marine park at Moruya.

But she still had concerns about contamined water. Although the mine’s owners had “the best intentions, we also know what gold mining does to an area,” she said.

“My husband has a PhD in chemistry and he worked for a large mining company.

“He has educated me to be aware of things such as acid rain, contamination of tank water, of ground water, and general effects on the vegetation and on our health.”

She was also worried by the number of truck movements the gold mine might require, saying recent roadworks had added “rather pathetic little strips” that were not durable.