RESIDENTS have told the State Government-appointed panel they will have little option but to sell their homes and leave town if the proposed Big Hill Enhanced Development Project goes ahead.
Fisher Street resident, Sherrie Hunt said regardless of the decision, there will be no winners.
“Residents, and we are one, will sell our houses and move away from Stawell if the project goes ahead,” she said.
“We are the closest residence to the south pit... at our request Stawell Gold Mine measured from the edge of the south pit to our backyard which was 64 metres.”
Mrs Hunt said she and husband, Brad would never have purchased a house in Stawell had they known about the proposed open cut mine.
“We, like many other people have worked hard to pay off our mortgage which has given us the opportunity to choose to live in Stawell for the rest of our lives,” she said.
“We, like many, assumed that a project that was not approved in 2000 would not be put forward again.”
Discussing the possibility of compensation, Mrs Hunt said it would be hard to accept any offer as what she and her husband have is ‘almost priceless’.
Resident, Marion Byass raised the prospect that Big Hill could be an internationally significant, sacred site.
“If Big Hill was an aboriginal sacred sight it would be protected by law from mining. The question needs to be asked: what constitutes a sacred site in our modern western society?
“Big Hill has all the elements of a sacred site and it is in active and continuous use by the Stawell community.”