Lock the Gate Alliance is encouraging community members to make a submission to the Department of Planning on the mine’s application to remove important noise controls on the open cut coal project.
Public comment on the ‘sound power levels modification’ closes Thursday 12 October.
Documents and a form to make a submission are available on the Department of Planning website here: https://tinyurl.com/MaulesMod4
“The Maules Creek coal mine is causing distress and sickness among the people that live surrounding it. Its blast fumes, dust plumes and grinding and banging noise have changed Maules Creek forever,” said Phil Laird from Lock the Gate.
“The mine has breached its conditions of approval numerous times and been given too many chances and excuses by Government agencies. Because of its compliance problems, it’s now one of three mines in NSW given the highest environmental risk rating by the EPA.
“This is a text book example of regulatory capture and approval creep. Unable to comply with the conditions of its approval, Maules Creek coal mine has applied to the Department of Planning to remove one of the conditions imposed on it when it was granted approval.
Condition 12a of Schedule 3 stipulates that the Sound Power Levels (SWLs) of fixed and mobile machinery at the mine must be “equal to, or better than, the indicative SWLs adopted for modelling purposes in the Maules Creek Coal Project Environmental Assessment.”
“This condition is designed to enforce continuous improvement of environmental noise performance over the life of the mine, but now the mining company is trying to shift the goalposts.
“When can the community have certainty that a project approval is final? This application has implications for the integrity of planning processes across all of NSW.
“When mining companies can change conditions that hold them to account, it sends a message to every community and industry in NSW that ‘strict’ planning conditions are anything but strict.
“We are calling on the NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts to knock this on the head before it undermines confidence in the planning system in this state.”