Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed calls by the NSW Leader of the Opposition at the Country Labor conference in Dubbo today for minimum distances to be established between the Hunter Valley’s critical wine and thoroughbred lands and encroaching coal mines.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley has pointed to the second application by Anglo American for its Drayton South coal project which is adjacent to the two biggest thoroughbred studs as evidence that the current planning system is creating stress and uncertainty for rural industries.
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW Coordinator Georgina Woods said, “The Hunter Valley needs sensible planning restrictions to restore balance and give certainty to sustainable rural industries like equine and wine-tourism.
“It makes perfect sense to protect these lands from coal mining and create minimum distances between them and open-cut coal mines, which are taking up more of the good farmland on the Hunter Valley floor than ever before and pushing other industries to the brink of leaving the region.
"We also warmly welcome any moves to stop the practice of coal mines projects that have been rejected already as inappropriate being brought back by proponents, causing terrible stress and uncertainty.
“We look forward to seeing more detail of the Opposition’s policy in these matters, and hope that all political parties will see the wisdom in protecting good productive farmland, water catchments and rural villages from the damaging impacts of too-close coal mines.”