Lock the Gate responds to NSW Government move to weaken protection of Sydney’s water in favour of a polluting coal mine: let the Court do its job

Published: October 09, 2017

Lock the Gate Alliance says the New South Wales Government must not go through with plans reported in The Australian this morning to weaken laws that protect Sydney’s drinking water catchment so that Springvale coal mine would not have to comply with them.

Springvale coal mine supplies coal to Mount Piper power station in the Blue Mountains. It also dumps polluted water into waterways that feed Sydney’s Warragamba dam.

Environmental group 4Nature successfully argued in the Court of Appeal in August that an approval granted to a controversial expansion of the coal mine two years ago was not valid because it had not considered crucial catchment protection law that requires any development in Sydney’s drinking water catchment to have a “neutral or beneficial effect” on the quality of water in the catchment.

The mine has not been ordered to close by the court, and has been operating continually since the 4Nature victory, while arguments are made in court about what remedy the Land and Environment Court should impose, given the role of the mine in supplying coal to Mount Piper.

“The Land and Environment Court has a job to do to honour the law that protects the pristine quality of our drinking water from coal mining and other development," said Georgina Woods from Lock the Gate. 

“Weakening the law for the convenience of a coal mining company that is polluting drinking water is a reckless and unnecessary reaction. Protecting drinking water should be our highest priority.

“There’s plenty of coal being mined in this state, we’re mining more coal than ever before. The idea that a power station cannot secure alternative supplies if a polluting coal mine must be closed to protect the water that supplies Sydney is absurd. Who’s running this state? The coal industry or the Coalition Government?

“We urge all members of parliament not to weaken this important law and let the Court do its job finding a solution to this impasse that does not compromise Sydney’s drinking water,” Georgina Woods said.

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  • commented 2017-10-10 14:40:10 +1000
    Sounds fine. it would be nice for our politicians to remember that they are elected reps of the people not elitist royalty or masters, and why would anybody in there right mind poison there constituents for the sake of the money. a more sustainable approach to power is much needed. Australia in the past has shown the world that the ingenuity from inventors and scientists is very forward thinking down here so lets tap into that. As well there could be a little more restraint in selling off resources to other countries and leaving Australia short( if this is really the case). I mean seriously is this country going that bad that these politicians need to sell the very ground out from under us, i don’t think so. Peace to all involved in the process and may a speedy solution be in the making.
  • commented 2017-10-10 10:16:57 +1000
    The Govt must stop the operation of this coal mine which is delivering polluted water into the catchment area of Sydneys water supply.
  • commented 2017-10-09 12:29:18 +1000
    This process of fracking is killing communities and the people who inhabit them. how can you politicians be so blinded by greed to not represent your constituents in the manner that you should, you were voted in not given the job.the democracy in this country is an elitist inherited kind from an English colonial adventure and serves nobody but Gov and the biggest of companies also this fracking is the dirtiest resource harvested in the dirtiest of ways, come on surely you so called educated people can do better than this, previous track record shows apparently not.

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