Lock the Gate today called on the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to reject the recommendation of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to increase the size of the already massive Hunter Valley Operations South coal mine and final void.
“The proposed expansion of this mine will exacerbate the cumulative impacts of mining in the mid Hunter, which have now reached a saturation point,” said Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Nic Clyde.
“The people, water sources and biodiversity in this area cannot survive any additional permanent impact or increased levels of noise and air pollution.
“This proposed expansion would leave a large void that in the Department’s own words would result in water that is ‘unusable’.
“The NSW government urgently needs to reform mining policy in NSW to require mining companies to backfill voids and properly rehabilitate land. This policy has existed in the United States since the 1970s.
“To add insult to injury, a year ago, it was revealed that Muswellbrook and Singleton need a 50 per cent reduction in air pollutants to meet new national standards. Adding more coal mining to this region is taking air quality in the wrong direction,” said Clyde.
More information including Report on Final Voids in NSW - The "Hole Truth", policy briefings, and photo library can be found here.