Battle for Bylong

Published: October 20, 2015

Korean power company Kepco has lodged an application with the NSW Government to develop a 6.5 million tonne coal complex comprising two open-cuts and an underground mine in the iconic and gorgeous Bylong Valley.

The government is taking public submissions on the company's Environmental Impact Statement until 6th November 2015. This is an important time to object to an utterly inappropriate mining project that would devastate the social and economic fabric of Bylong.

Please help by making a submission! Here's how:

1. Go to this page on the NSW Planning Department's website.

2. Scroll down the page until you get to Making a submissionand fill in the form with your details. Feel free to use the suggested submission points below (ideally, put them in your own words), and don't forget to choose "I object to it" in the drop-down box asking for your view on the application.

Thanks for your help! Please sign up here to stay up-to-date on the Battle for Bylong, and consider chucking in some cash to help local residents pay for expert submissions against the project.

Suggested submission points on the Bylong Coal Project

  • The predicted long-term impacts on prime agricultural land and water systems in the Bylong Valley are unacceptable and will not be mitigated through proposed offsets and rehabilitation. The renowned Tarwyn Park natural sequence farming processes will be destroyed.


  • A significant area of prime agricultural land will be destroyed: the mine footprint will disturb 2,875 ha of land including 440 ha of Bioregional Significant Agricultural Land (BSAL), 260 ha being destroyed in open cut, plus 700 ha of mapped Critical Equine Industry Cluster land. The proposal to replace BSAL at another location is untested and high risk.


  • Impacts on groundwater and surface water will be significant. The highly connected alluvial aquifer system within the stressed Bylong River catchment will have predicted peak losses of up to 295 million litres per year (ML/yr). Loss of base flows to the Bylong River is predicted to be 918 ML/yr. The mine proposes to use up to 1,942 ML/yr which is over 75% of the annual rainfall recharge. The river system is over allocated and local farmers will lose important water supply.


  • The mine disturbance area has very high biodiversity values that will not be mitigated through the proposed offset arrangements. Nationally endangered species recorded in the area include the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, New Holland Mouse, Regent Honeyeater and Spotted-tailed Quoll. Three entirely new plant species were recorded. A significant area of critically endangered Grassy Box Gum Woodland will be destroyed along with habitat for 17 threatened birds and 7 threatened plants.


  • The area has Aboriginal cultural heritage significance:  239 sites were recorded in the study area with 25 regarded as being of high local or regional significance (including an ochre quarry, grinding grooves and rock shelters); 144 sites have been identified at risk from mine impacts with 102 within the open cut area.


  • Important European heritage, including the Catholic Church Cemetery, Upper Bylong Public School and a number of historic homesteads and farm buildings will be destroyed in the opencut. The social impacts on the Bylong community have already been devastating.

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  • commented 2015-10-23 21:39:11 +1000
    I can’t believe how frightening the Coalition Govt has and is being destructive towards anything regarding the environment. This is another onslaught in an era when the effects of climate change are so well documented. And as for the Bylong community, who has to fight such threats with one hand tied behind its back, it is unforgivable on the part of a government which seems to only consider mines and “development” proposals as the way forward for this State. In a world where the population is exploding, this country wants to destroy its land, water and future. Shame.


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