What’s going on? Ministers contradict each other on mines planning
10 May 2011
Greens MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham is asking ‘what’s going on?’ after receiving contradictory advice from two senior ministers of the new government regarding the Shenhua Watermark coal mine project.
On Monday 9 May, the minister representing the Minister for Mining and Resources, National Duncan Gay told the NSW Legislative Council “They [Shenhua] are part of the part 3A but they have agreed to have the strategic lands part as part of theirs as well.“
Today, Wednesday 10 May, the minister representing the Minister for Planning, Liberal Greg Pearce, told Question Time: “the application was not accepted as a Part 3a application because Part 3a applications are no longer being accepted under this government.”
Mr Buckingham said, “Judging from today’s answers, the government does not seem to know what is going on when it comes to the assessment process for mines.
“Yesterday I was told the Shenhua Watermark coal mine was being assessed under both Part 3a and the yet-to-be-fully-developed Strategic Regional Landuse Policy. When I followed up today, I was told it was not Part 3a and had been rejected as such.
“This is a significant project of considerable concern to the community, you would think the government would know whether there was an assessment or not.
“It also raises questions about how the government plans to assess existing Part 3a mining projects, given all the public statements about Part 3a being scrapped have failed to mention how mining and extractive industries.”
Contact: Max Phillips 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916