Narrabri Council supports farmers’ fight against Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine following scathing report

Published: December 17, 2019

Farmers have welcomed a scathing Narrabri Council report about the destructive Vickery coal mine planned for near Boggabri which further proves the project has little support locally.

The council report states, “the Proponent has not demonstrated that the Vickery Project will promote the social and economic welfare of Boggabri and the wider Narrabri Shire nor that it has sufficiently addressed the relevant economic, environmental and social considerations in its proposal.

As a result of the report, Narrabri Shire councillors today voted 5-1 to inform the NSW Government and Independent Planning Commission that they did not support the Vickery Project.

The report queries the reliability of Whitehaven’s projected jobs numbers and notes the lack of trust in the company from the local community at Boggabri. 

It also raises concerns about the local water market dominance of Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine, and how the impact of water depletion and agricultural displacement will impact future generations. 

Boggabri farmer Sally Hunter said, “We’re grateful to the council for taking seriously the social damage inflicted by large mining developments and for listening to the local community which has no trust in Whitehaven and does not want this coal mine.

“We’ve seen how Whitehaven Coal operates its Maules Creek mine like a parasite eating up land and water and draining the lifeblood of our communities. We’ve seen the contempt with which the local people are treated. We’re not prepared to let our communities be chewed up and ruined by another coal mine.”

In April this year, the Independent Planning Commission published an “Issues Report” about the project also citing its impact on social cohesion and intergenerational equity. The Vickery coal mine is currently being considered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment before being returned to the Independent Planning Commission for consideration, likely in the new year.  

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