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Legal Action Launched to Stop Clearing in Leard Forest

The Maules Creek Community Council (MCCC) has today launched legal action in court to stop the clearing of Leard State Forest for the controversial Maules Creek Coal Mine, near Narrabri in north-west NSW.

The Council has commenced civil enforcement proceedings against Whitehaven Coal in the NSW Land and Environment Court. 

It is represented by the environmental law experts EDO NSW.  

MCCC is seeking an injunction to stop the operational clearing of Leard State Forest on the grounds that Whitehaven is in breach of its development consent by clearing the forest during winter when animals, including threatened species, are hibernating.  

A breach of a development consent contravenes the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. 

Maules Creek Community Council spokesperson, farmer Phil Laird, said: “We have launched a legal case today because we believe the winter clearing that is occurring in the forest is a breach of NSW planning and environment laws. 

"We believe the clearing is unlawful, and we are seeking to have the case heard quickly so that no more irreparable damage is done to this unique forest environment and the animals that live in it.

"As a local community, we feel that we have been forced to take this action because the NSW Government has failed in its responsibility to uphold the law and protect the environment of NSW" he said. 

Further comment: Phil Laird 0428 712 622

EDO contact Jon Walter 0404 647 842


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