Why Jack’s not worried about Mt Morgan’s water restrictions
JACK CAMPION is a true blue Mount Morgan original – having been born at the local hospital and living in the town his whole life.
Last week the old gold mining town was moved into level five water restrictions – the second highest restrictions there is.
The No. 7 Dam is the main water supply for the town, which has a population of 1,963, and is now at 15 per cent capacity.
But Jack isn’t fussed, he has a rainwater tank at his house and has seen the dam fall to lower levels.
“When I was kid in the late 70s and 80s, even before then, it used to go dry, they used to cart water,” he told The Morning Bulletin.
“It used to come out mud in the tap..... the white shirts would come out worse in the wash than they went in.”
Jack’s been down to check out the dam and said he could see all the fish traps and it was nearly out to the boat ramp.
The Bureau of Meteorology has officially predicted a La Nina weather event, which typically results in a wetter wet season and an increased risk of tropical cyclones and floods for the region – but Jack’s not so sure.
“I wouldn’t bet on the La Nina but it’ll rain sooner or later, it always does,” Jack said.
The Morning Bulletin revealed last week a feasibility study had been completed to reopen the Mount Morgan mine.
Heritage Minerals is behind the project and plans to use new technology to clean up the waste water.
Gold was first mined at a commercial scale at Mount Morgan in 1882 and over the years 242,578 kgs of gold and 374,000 tonnes of copper were extracted.
Jack said there had not been much chatter about the reopening of the mine around town and the community was quite hesitant toward the idea as there had been a number of false starts since the mine closed in 1990.
He said it had been held up for years with “government red tape”.
“Until gold gets a bit dearer … it’s not worth it,” he said.
If it ever did come to fruition and the mine did reopen, Jack said it would never be at the scale it was before.
“Ten men can run the whole thing with big machines,” he said.
“You don’t need a couple of hundred men.”
When asked why he loved living in Mount Morgan, Jack shrugged his shoulders and asked ‘why not’.
“I like it, good air, I still live in the same house my dad built in the 60s, it’s good,” he said.