peat is primarily used in agriculture and horticulture. It is used
a soil conditioner and mulch for lawns, shrubbery, and gardens
a packaging material for seedlings, shrubs and flowers
a filler in mixed fertilisers; and in mushroom and seed beds.
about 26,200 tonnes of peat was used in Australia each year. Seventy
percent was imported and 95 percent of the Australian peat came
from Wingecarribee Swamp. The Wingecarribee Peat was considerably
cheaper than imported peat. The
peat was primarily used for horticultural uses.
peat made up a small proportion of the worldwide reserves of some
465,000 million tonnes. Wingecarribee peat was sold all over Australia
and was beginning to be exported to Southeast Asia, meaning that
production rates were increasing.
to Geoffrey Oakes, Senior Geologist, DMR:
occurrences in New South Wales are far more extensive than was previously
thought. Such deposits are relatively common in the highlands and
coastal regions of the State, with at least 25 identified deposits
having the capacity to support long term, viable peat mines.
many additional potential sources of peat were identified during
the Department's peat project few of these could be considered
to be available for mining. In particular, alternative land use
such as national parks, nature reserves and flora reserves within
state forests, as well as relatively intensive farming practices
like sugar cane production effectively sterilize these deposits
from a mining viewpoint.
Wales has in situ inferred resources of at least 25 million cubic
metres of peat (equivalent to perhaps 6 million t of peat product).
Tasmania probably has larger resources, while Victoria, Queensland,
Western Australia and South Australia all have some identified
data demonstrates that the Wingecarribee Swamp deposit contains
the highest quality local peat sampled during the Department's
peat project. It is the only known substantial resource of peat
in NSW which contains peat that could, by virtue of its intrinsic
natural characteristics, be competitive with the West German product...
deposit at Wingecarribee Swamp is the largest known, high quality
peat occurrence in New South Wales. It is also the best located
in terms of supplying the Sydney region market - the largest market
in Australia, and is well located in terms of access to major
road and rail links. Peat mined from this deposit is an important
component of a variety of products (particularly potting mixes
and landscaping materials) and has been gradually gaining acceptance
for use by consumers who previously showed a marked preference
for imported peat. Wingecarribee peat can substitute for imported
peat in most applications, and of all the New South Wales peats
tested by the Department, is the peat with the greatest potential
for replacing imports.
to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR):
has been a certain amount of adverse comment as to Wingecarribee
peat ending up in the greens of Japanese golf courses. The Department
of Mineral Resources takes the view and submits that the Inquiry
should find that high value exports of New South Wales minerals
into specialised high margin niche markets, such as the export of
Wingecarribee peat for use in golf courses, is desirable and should
be strongly encouraged.
evidence is, and we submit the Inquiry should find, that eight jobs
will be lost if the mine closes.
to Local and State Economy
of Emerald Peat provide direct benefits to local haulage contractors
and other business utilised in its activities and indirect benefits
through expenditure by its workers and the employees of the businesses
it deals with.
Ellison, Summary of Submissions by Emerald Peat Pty Ltd, 1997.
of Mineral Resources, Submission to Inquiry into Renewal of Mining
leases 567 and 568 at Wingecarribee Swamp, 1997.
Michael Oakes, Senior Geologist, Land Use and Resource Assessment
Section, Geological Survey Division, NSW Department of Mineral Resources,
The Wingecarribee Swamp Peat Deposit: A Submission to the Chief
Mining Warden's Inquiry into Renewal of Special Lease 567 and 568
(Act 1906) to Mine Peat, 1967.