The NSW Government’s announcement today of limited protection from open cut coal mining only for a small parcel of Jerry’s Plains farmland at Drayton South is not enough to protect the region’s farmers and horse breeders, says Lock the Gate.
Lock the Gate NSW Coordinator, Georgina Woods said, "This new regulation does nothing more than formalise the decision already made twice by the Planning Commission that open cut coal mining is not appropriate for this site. It falls far short of the reforms needed in the Hunter to restore balance between mining and other land uses.
"We’re disappointed with this narrow and weak gesture that condemns the farming and horse breeding industries of the Hunter Valley to continue having to fight for their survival against a Government that has ears only for the coal industry.
"Jerry’s Plains is rich and fertile farmland that needs broad and effective protection from all forms of mining, not just open-cuts.
"If balance is to be restored, the Government needs to make all critical industry cluster lands for the horse and wine industries of the Hunter Valley off limits to mining of any kind. It’s really not too much to ask.”
Details of the Government’s proposal, which is seeking public feedback until 14 December, are available here: http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/draytonsouth