The Bylong community is outraged after KEPCO today formally launched an appeal against the 2020 NSW Land and Environment Court’s ruling that upheld the 2019 Independent Planning Commission’s decision to reject the multinational company’s Bylong Valley coal mine proposal.
The judgement the company is appealing upheld the IPC’s 2019 ruling that KEPCO’s planned coal mine posed too great a threat to the valley’s farmland, water, and environment, and that its climate impacts were not in the public interest. The agricultural soils in the Bylong Valley are rated in the top 3.5 percent in the state.
Bizarrely, KEPCO first appealed the IPC’s decision and has now appealed the Land and Environment Court’s ruling even after writing off the $700M value of the mine and at a time when the South Korean Government is supposedly embracing a “green new deal” and aggressively pursuing a policy of zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Land and Environment Court previously threw out KEPCO’s appeal in December last year, however KEPCO has now exercised its rights to appeal against this decision.
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance spokesperson Phillip Kennedy said the community would like to see KEPCO sell the properties it purchased back to farming families to make the valley productive again.
“KEPCO is predominantly owned by the South Korean Government, so for it to pursue this coal mine while that government talks up its so-called green new deal is the height of hypocrisy,” he said.
“This seems like a stark contradiction of how the South Korean Government is portraying itself in the international media, and what KEPCO is proposing to do in Australia. The South Korean Government is clearly greenwashing.
“KEPCO’s appeal makes a mockery of Korean climate commitments and is an ill-considered pursuit of a very destructive coal mine - there have now been two legal decisions rejecting it. When will KEPCO get the message – coal mining in Bylong is just a no-go.
“If the Korean government says it wants to be green then let KEPCO lead the way and sell the land back to Australian mum and dad farmers to build this community again."