Rocky Hill horror show back to haunt Gloucester

Published: August 26, 2016

Save GloucesterThe community of Gloucester fought for many years to see off the threat of a coal seam gasfield next to their town. Their victory was an inspiration to others around the world.

But Gloucester's brave protectors barely had time to celebrate before a new threat (re)emerged. The Rocky Hill Project is a proposed 3-pit open cut coal mine just spitting-distance from residential areas of Gloucester. It threatens the health of local residents, and Gloucester's $50 million tourism industry.

A revised mine plan for Rocky Hill is now on public exhibition until 14th October. Do you have five minutes to join Gloucester residents and lodge a submission against the proposed mine?

How to lodge your objection to the Rocky Hill coal mine proposal

  1. Go to the Rocky Hill Project page on the NSW Department of Planning website.
  2. Scroll down to "Making a Submission"
  3. Fill in the form, and be sure to put "I object to it" in the drop menu asking for for view on the application.
  4. Use the suggested points below to make your submission. Remember, it will be more powerful if you put your points in your own words. You can also check out the Groundswell Gloucester page for more info.
  5. That's it! You can help even more by donating some cash to help Gloucester residents engage expert consultants to respond to the Rocky Hill EIS.

Suggested points for your submission

  • The proposed mine is way too close to residential areas.
    • The proposed pits are only 900m from the Forbesdale residential estate, and barely 3km from Gloucester township. The impacts from noise and air pollution, blasting, loss of amenity and lifestyle on surrounding residents are simply unacceptable, and in no way justified by the dubious economic arguments put forward by mine proponents.
  • The health impacts are far too great
    • Gloucester's hospital, its schools, and almost all of its residents are within 5km from the proposed coal pits. Particulate pollution from open-cut mining is known to lead to reduced respiratory health and increased death rates in surrounding communities. It is completely unfair and unjustified to expose the population of Gloucester to these health impacts.
  • The mine threatens Gloucester's $50 million tourism industry.
    • Gloucester is a unique and beautiful town on the edge of the Barrington wilderness, and it has a thriving nature-based tourism industry. Open cut coal mining is completely incompatible with this important local industry, which must be protected.
  • So-called 'commitments' to reduce mining impacts are not trusted.
    • The community has no reason to trust either commitments from the mining company made during its application, nor conditions imposed by the Planning Department if approval is given. We have seen elsewhere in Gloucester and the Hunter Valley that these conditions can be changed later, and usually are. Conditions regarding mine rehabilitation, night-time work hours, noise, blasting, and dust, and even the footprint of the mine are untrusted. It is known, for example, that there are plans for a "Stage 2" of the coal mine. The only acceptable outcome for the Rocky Hill application is to reject it outright.

 

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