Government Should Side with the Community, not Rio Tinto: Alliance

Published: June 17, 2013

The Hunter and Central Rivers Alliance has called on the NSW Government to accept the decision by the Land and Environment Court to overturn project approval for the Warkworth Coal Extension Project.

Bev Smiles from the Hunter Community Network said, "the Government should get behind the community of the Hunter who deserve to be protected from the noise, dust and social impacts the Warkworth extension would have caused.”

“The Judgment from Justice Preston was clear in its finding that the project would have 'significant and unacceptable impacts on biological diversity, including on endangered ecological communities, noise impacts, and social impacts'."

The NSW Planning Minister has joined Rio Tinto in an appeal against the judgement.

The Hunter and Central Rivers Alliance represents 39 community groups across the coalfields of the Hunter and Central Coast.

Steve Phillips from Lock the Gate said, “the decision of the Land and Environment Court does not impact on current employment at the Warkworth mine which is approved to continue operating until 2021. Any suggestion by Rio Tinto management and other mining companies that the decision has cost jobs misrepresents the facts.

“The recent economic winds against the coal industry have made clear that Governments need to prepare for a life after the coal boom in the Hunter Valley.

“Non-mining industries and residents who rely on current mines deserve planning that will enable a transition to a sustainable future."

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