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Lock the Gate accuses State Government of allowing mining conflict to fester

Lock the Gate Alliance will use its presentation to the public hearing for the Drayton South mine in Denman today to accuse the State Government of failing to put appropriate regulation in place to prevent land use conflict in the Hunter and safeguard the rural industries that will provide diverse economic opportunity in the years to come. 

Anglo American is seeking approval for an open cut coal mine that may drive our the important Coolmore and Darley horse studs, largely viewed as critical components of the Hunter Valley’s proud and successful thoroughbred breeding industry.

Lock the Gate Alliance NSW Coordinator, Georgina Woods, said “It has been clear to any rational observer for years that the westward advance of open cut coal mining towards the thoroughbred critical industry cluster is an unacceptable proposition.

“Anglo American themselves have spotlighted the regulatory failure that is paralysing this region with conflict. They offered to fully cooperate with the Government in creating a statutory exclusion zone for the equine critical industry cluster, albeit without creating the buffer zone necessary to protect the thoroughbred industry. It’s not clear if or how the Government has responded to that proposal.

“It is mystifying that the Government hasn’t acted on community expectation and created clear no-go zones that protect our best farmland, fertile floodplains, productive aquifers and vanishing endangered woodlands from further open cut mining.

“There have been two highly controversial and emotionally fraught public hearings in the region this week and we believe the State Government’s regulatory failure and planning failure is compounding the angst being suffered by affected communities and people working in the mining industry.

“Earlier this week, Newcastle Council resolved to call for the State Government to help establish a Hunter Future Jobs Taskforce. We fully support that initiative, and hope the NSW Government has sufficient foresight and common sense to act quickly on it.

Further comment: Georgina Woods 0437 405 932 

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