Formation of the CVCC (Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition)
In 1988 the local newspaper, The Daily Examiner, announced that the Japanese company Daishowa International, which already had a woodchip mill on the NSW South Coast, was planning a $450 million chemical pulp mill for the Clarence Valley.
Some community members welcomed the announcement, claiming the mill would provide an enormous boost to the local economy. But not everyone welcomed it. Many were concerned about the impact such a large industrial development would have on the local environment – not just of the Clarence Valley but of the whole North Coast because it was obvious that such a large mill would be drawing its feedstock from across the area. Concerns included the amount of water this mill would use, the decimation of the forests, the likelihood of poisonous effluent being released into either the river or the ocean and air pollution.
On 19 September 1988 concerned people met in Grafton to discuss the proposal and consider what action should be taken. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition (CVCC).
It was decided that the CVCC would gather information on the proposed mill, disseminate that information and seek support throughout the Clarence Valley and elsewhere on the North Coast.
In the ensuing months the group sought information both locally and internationally on pulp mills and pulping processes and attempted to obtain information from the company and governments on the proposal. Public meetings were held in Grafton, Iluka, Maclean and Minnie Water as well as in other North Coast towns. In addition the group produced information sheets, issued many media releases, participated in media interviews, distributed bumper stickers, met with politicians both in the local area and beyond, and wrote letters to politicians and the Examiner.
When it was revealed in 1989 that Daishowa would not be proceeding with its proposal, CVCC President Rosie Richards was delighted to declare that people power did beat Daishowa. (“People Power Will Beat Daishowa” was a campaign bumper sticker.)