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Update: New Planning Secretary hears “log of claims” from mining communities

On her first day after being confirmed as Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Carolyn McNally heard a list of grievances submitted by people from mining affected communities around the state after a protest this morning at the Department of Planning and Environment headquarters in Sydney.

Forty people from around the state entered the Bridge Street office this morning to submit a log of claims highlighting the failures of the Department to uphold the public interest, and allegations that the Department is too intimate with the mining industry.

The new Secretary granted an audience to seven people representing mining affected or threatened communities in the Sydney catchment, Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains, North West and Central West of the state.

Bev Smiles, of the Hunter Communities Network was among those that attended the meeting and said the Secretary gave the group a good hearing, “There are a litany of failures of process, consultation, enforcement, and basic decency, from across the state. The effect of these failures is utter loss of faith in this Department, damaged water catchments, lost bushland and dislocated communities.

“The agenda has been set now for the deep and lasting change that is needed in the Department of Planning in its dealings with coal and gas companies and the communities affected by mining. We need to see action on the key demands being put forward today, or we will be back to visit the Department again.

Photos of the protest are available for use here:

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