Lock the Gate Alliance is calling on the NSW Government to show political leadership and seize the upcoming opportunity to cancel Shenhua’s planned destructive Liverpool Plains coal mine.
Under the terms of Shenhua’s coal exploration licence, which was renewed in 2018, the NSW Government created an opportunity to cancel the licence if the multinational mining company failed to apply for a mining lease by 30 June 2020. The company is yet to make an application for a mining lease and is required to pay the NSW $200 million when it does so.
The company is also yet to complete eight vital environmental studies needed before the mine can be approved.
Lock the Gate NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods urged the government to listen to farmers and Gomeroi people on the Liverpool Plains and cancel Shenhua’s proposal.
“This project should never have been approved by this government. It is incompatible with the agricultural future of one of the most important food bowls in the country,” she said.
“The mine would also displace a significant koala population and that poor species needs all the protection we can give it after so many have perished in the bushfire crisis.
“This was always the wrong place for a new thermal coal mine, but now it is very obviously the wrong time. This mine will contribute to the disastrous impacts of climate change such as the bushfires that have swept across the country.”
The mine is expected to produce up to 10 million tonnes of coal each year over its 30-year lifetime.
Ms Woods said Shenhua was playing with the livelihoods of NSW communities that would be impacted by its proposed mine.
“For fifteen years, local farmers and Gomeroi people have fought to protect this region and stop this destructive coal mine on the Liverpool Plains,” she said.
"Shenhua seems ambivalent about going ahead with this mine, but public opposition to it has not abated and is stronger than ever in the wake of the devastating fires of this summer.
“We are calling on the Berejiklian Government to cancel Shenhua’s coal exploration licence when its time expires in July and make clear laws to protect New South Wales’ productive farmland and water resources from coal mining.”