Lock the Gate Alliance warmly welcomes the NSW Independent Planning Commission’s decision today to reject Glencore’s Glendell coal mine expansion project due to its “significant, irreversible and unjustified impacts on the historic heritage values of the Ravensworth Homestead complex”.
The Commission found “that because of these impacts, the site is not suitable for development and the application is not in the public interest”.
The Commission also concluded that the project would “harm Aboriginal cultural values."
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW coordinator Nic Clyde said the IPC’s decision was a clear repudiation of the NSW Perrottet Government’s support for the project.
“This decision draws a line in the sand - NSW’s heritage cannot be erased just because a multinational mining giant like Glencore wants to dig up coal,” he said.
“This coal project would have wiped irreplaceable and unique First Nations and colonial heritage from the face of the earth.
"At a time when our whole nation is reckoning with colonial dispossession on the journey to reconciliation, this decision is something of a turning point.
“Ravensworth is a rare and exceptionally intact colonial homestead complex and cultural landscape of state heritage significance that tells the story of shared Aboriginal and European heritage in the Hunter Valley, including the frontier war with Wonnarua people.
“Glencore now has an opportunity to protect this place and walk together with everyone else in NSW on the journey to reconciliation.”
In the event that the project was refused consent, the Heritage Council of NSW promised to immediately recommend the Ravensworth Estate and surrounds for listing on the NSW Heritage Register.
“We now call on the NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage, James Griffin, to secure the future of this immensely important site and protect it in perpetuity,” Mr Clyde said.
He said the project was also clearly unacceptable on climate grounds.
“If it had been built, the project would have been responsible for 226.87 Mt of greenhouse gas emissions, which would have added to the burden of extreme weather, floods, fires and droughts that Australians are now forced to live with,” Mr Clyde said.
“This is a reminder that coal mining is a polluting business that just becomes riskier and riskier, and it’s crucial that the NSW and Federal Governments now get started on the big job of economic transformation away from coal and support for workers."
Lock the Gate Alliance recently made complaints to the ACCC, ASIC, and Advertising Standards Bureau, alleging that Glencore had engaged in “greenwashing” in its ads by downplaying its coal assets.