The Bylong Valley community is devastated after coal company KEPCO confirmed it had sought leave to appeal the latest rejection of its Bylong project in the High Court.
The South Korean Government-owned corporation’s legal representatives sent its appeal to the Bylong Valley Protection Alliance’s legal representatives at the Environmental Defenders Office this morning.
The move follows the rejection of KEPCO’s mooted Bylong Valley coal mine by the Independent Planning Commission, a decision that has subsequently been upheld by the NSW Land and Environment Court, and the Court of Appeal.
The IPC rejected the coal mine in 2019 due to the impact it would have had on water, highly productive farming country, and the climate, and the subsequent legal decisions have upheld that ruling.
KEPCO is facing increasing domestic pressure to give up its fruitless foray in the Bylong Valley, with the Korea National Assembly Budget Office (NSBO) recently revealing KEPCO had so far lost USD $405M in its pursuit of the Bylong coal mine.
As well, in January 2020 KEPCO's board marked down the value of its Bylong mining rights from $AUD642 million to zero in a report to the South Korean stock exchange.
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance President Phillip Kennedy said, “It’s bloody devastating that a multinational coal company can continue putting a small farming community like ours through the wringer after its mine has been rejected three times.
“We can’t believe KEPCO is still trying to build this polluting coal mine after the IPC clearly explained it posed too great a threat to the soils and water we rely on.
“We think it’s dangerous to pursue new coal mines as the climate crisis alarm bells ring louder and world leaders prepare for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.”