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Bylong community tells KEPCO to sell farms and walk away after High Court loss

KEPCO has been given its marching orders in the Bylong Valley following the latest legal decision for the company’s ill-fated coal mine proposal.

This morning, the High Court of Australia refused KEPCO’s request for leave to appeal the refusal of its coal mining project in the district.

The decision follows a drawn out series of defeats for the Korean Government owned corporation, whose plan for a coal mine in the valley was first rejected by the Independent Planning Commission in 2019.

The IPC rejected KEPCO’s planned greenfield coal mine due to the impact it would have had on water, highly productive farming country, and the climate.

That decision was subsequently upheld by the NSW Land and Environment Court, and the Court of Appeal.

Bylong Valley Protection Alliance president Phillip Kennedy said, “KEPCO needs to eat some humble pie, pack its bags, and leave.

“KEPCO must not submit a revised project, it must not delay, it must only sell its land back to the farming families of Australia and leave the Bylong Valley for good.

“This company has been told it cannot build its mine by the Independent Planning Commission and three courts, including the highest court in the country.

“The Bylong Valley community only wants some certainty, and we’re looking forward to that with this win. We want to plan our future on our farms, and we look forward to continuing to supply Australians with food, fibre, and fodder from an agricultural powerhouse with the best soils in the country.”

Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesperson Nic Clyde said KEPCO’s plans for a coal mine in the valley were increasingly at odds with the South Korean Government’s view of a carbon zero word.

“While KEPCO was wasting everyone’s time in court, the South Korean Government has been announcing increasingly ambitious climate policies. There is no place in a decarbonising world for a coal mine in the Bylong Valley. KEPCO should have realised that long ago.”

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