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No victory for Vickery: Coal mine referred but community remains opposed

Approving Whitehaven’s destructive Vickery coal mine expansion would have a terrible impact on local communities, farmland, the environment, and national heritage, according to Lock the Gate Alliance. 

The Alliance has called on authorities to fully engage with the local community after the NSW Planning Minister yesterday referred the project to the IPC.

“A proper and frank discussion with the Boggabri community will reveal there is very little support for Whitehaven’s latest horrendous mining proposal,” said Lock the Gate Alliance NSW coordinator Georgina Woods.

“There is also very little support for Whitehaven itself, which has totally lost its social licence to operate in the north west of NSW following multiple compliance breaches at its other coal mines. 

“Even the Narrabri Council doesn’t support this project.

“Most recently, Whitehaven was issued a clean up notice after thousands of polystyrene balls used in explosive mixtures were found in a creek downstream from its Maules Creek coal mine. 

“Whitehaven is a repeat offender, responsible for a litany of breaches and compliance failures at its operations in north west NSW.

“The Vickery project would also cause damage to farmland, use up already limited underground water supplies, and threaten national heritage icons such as “Kurrumbede” - the property which Dorothea Mackellar used as inspiration for her poem “My Country”.

“In addition, indirect greenhouse gas emissions from Vickery would be more than 380 million tonnes of CO2 over the life of the mine.

“Lock the Gate Alliance believes that if this IPC assessment process is conducted appropriately, and listens to the local community, the commission will have no choice but to reject Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine proposal.”

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