Will you take a stand?
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has handed in its latest report on Rio's plan to expand the Warkworth coal mine, and it's a disaster. Even though Bulga residents have twice proven in court that expanding the mine would do more harm than good - not just for their community, but for all NSW - the PAC has recommended it be approved. The Commission ignored a mountain of evidence that Rio's coal mine would make Bulga unliveable, ruin an irreplaceable bushland ecosystem, and desecrate the cultural heritage of the Wonnarua people. They ignored expert advice that the economics of the project don't stack up. They listened to Rio Tinto, and they ignored everyone else.Sign up
It's almost certain now that Rio will get their mine approval. Without a dramatic intervention in the approval process, the rest is mere formality. The Planning Department will issue another report recommending approval, and then the PAC will close the deal. It's likely to happen by Christmas.
But we've been fighting this coal mine for over five years, and we're not about to give up now. The courts delivered us justice in 2013, but our state's unfair mine approval regime is set to take it away again. NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes still has the power to intervene and save Bulga, and we're demanding that he do just that.
Will you join us? Some time in the next couple of weeks, the NSW Planning Department will again recommend approval for Rio. We want to use that opportunity to show Minister Stokes that the people of NSW want justice for Bulga, not more coal. We'll be taking action outside the Supreme Court, Phillip St, Sydney - where we won our case - the morning after the Department's report is released. We need our Sydney supporters to be standing there with us.
Sign up below with your mobile number and we'll text you the details of our protest as soon as the Department issues its report. We'll see you the next morning outside the NSW Supreme Court.
Phil Jones posted about The Bulga Declaration on Facebook 2015-12-22 17:48:28 +1100The Bulga Declaration: stand with Wonnarua people and the village of Bulga against Rio Tinto.3,071 signatures
We, the undersigned, make this promise: we will not allow the Warkworth mine to destroy Saddle Ridge and the Warkworth Sands, nor the village of Bulga.
Saddle Ridge and the Warkworth Sands harbour woodlands and wildlife that are vanishing from the Hunter Valley due to open cut coal mining. The area is an ancient pathway and place of harmony, protection, and direction for Wonnarua people. It shields the village of Bulga from noise and dust rising from the super pits of Rio Tinto's Mount Thorley-Warkworth mine. For the Wonnarua, the people of Bulga, and the wildlife, Saddle Ridge and the Warkworth Sands are home; protecting and guiding them. Such things cannot be compensated for. They cannot be sold, or replaced.
The NSW government may have signed the death warrant for Warkworth Sands and the village of Bulga, but the people have not. The government and Rio Tinto are colluding against us, but we are united and we will not be subdued.
The highest courts in New South Wales have rejected the Warkworth mine expansion for the same reasons we reject it. By siding with Rio Tinto to subvert the people’s victory in court, the government has crossed a line. Now we are the ones that will uphold fairness, protect the ridge and restore faith in organised community.
We stand with the village of Bulga and Wonnarua traditional owners. We pledge to them that we will use all peaceful means to help them protect community and culture from the Warkworth coal mine.
The Declaration is endorsed by:
- Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association
- Kevin Taggart, Wonnarua traditional owner.
- Hunter Valley Protection Alliance
- Hunter Valley Wine Industry Tourism Association
- Broke Fordwich Wine & Tourism Association
- Lock The Gate Alliance
- Our Land Our Water Our Future
You can add your name by filling in the form below.