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Rocky Hill PAC: Protect health with a coal free buffer zone, says Lock the Gate

The national Lock the Gate Alliance is presenting at the Rocky Hill Planning Assessment Commission public meeting in Gloucester this morning, calling for new state laws to put a 10km coal free buffer zone around NSW towns and villages.

“We need the NSW Government to get serious about protecting communities from open cut coal mines and to stop risking residents’ health,” said Lock the Gate Alliance's Naomi Hogan who is presenting at the public meeting today.

“Health professionals are clearly presenting detailed evidence that the health risks of open cut coal mines are serious and should be avoided.

“Open cut coal mines expose nearby residents to poor air quality, toxic fumes from blast plumes, overburden fire risk, light and noise pollution.

“It is critical that the NSW Government takes action to install new state laws to put a 10km coal free buffer zone around NSW towns and villages, to take the protection of residents’ health seriously.

 The NSW Government has recently identified the risks to the community and environment from the Rocky Hill Coal proposal as “too great” and recommended refusal due to the proximity of this coal mine to the local town.

“The communities of Gloucester have dealt with the shadow of this inappropriate coal mine for over five long years. Yet all the heartache and stress of this coal mine could have been avoided with a clear buffer zone that protected the town from the outset.

“It is incumbent on the NSW Government and all future political candidates to protect the health of residents. We need action to put a 10km buffer around rural towns to avoid these stressful and unnecessary mine clashes,” she said.

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