Hunt approves Shenhua coal mine, trashes NSW’s food bowl

Published: July 08, 2015

Today’s Federal approval of Shenhua’s open cut coal mine on the Liverpool Plains is a blow for NSW‘s food bowl, farmers, the natural environment and the region’s water security, says the Lock the Gate Alliance and Liverpool Plains Youth.

Felix Nankivell, a son of third generation farmers from the region and a representative of Liverpool Plains Youth said, “We are shocked and appalled by the Federal government’s decision.

"Productive farmland in one of the largest food producing regions in Australia, if not the world, has just been condemned to become a hole in the ground thanks to Minister Hunt's decision today.
 
“Coal mining is on the way out, yet we are giving away rich agricultural land to send profits overseas.
 
“This is an injustice to the Australian people. The government’s relationship with the mining
 industry is very creepy, and we will not give up fighting this mine anytime soon.”

Phil Laird, National Coordinator of the Lock the Gate Alliance said, “Farmers have once again lost out to the interests of Big Coal, destroying rich agricultural lands that yield about 40 per cent above the national average of food per hectare and contribute approximately $332 million to our GDP annually.

“No amount of conditions placed on this project can disguise what is a disastrous decision to approve a mine that will trash farmland and put important water resources at risk.

“Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has rightly described this mine as an ‘absurdity’ but has failed to deliver justice to his electorate.

“Future generations will look back on today’s decision and shake their head in disbelief that such a rich gift as Australia’s farmland could be handed so freely to a foreign owned mining company.”

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