Ashton coal decision a hard earned win for community

MEDIA RELEASE – 23 December 2011

Greens MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has welcomed the decision by the Planning and Assessment Commission to reject Ashton Coal’s South East Open Cut Coal Mine proposal saying it is a hard earned win for the community and for the protection of the state valuable water resources.

Mr Buckingham said: “The community of Camberwell has been under siege from mining for years. This decision is vindication for those that have fought to protect their community who have always known that mining has a massive impact on community health. The Camberwell Common should be returned to the community and the Government should continue to support the proposal for a Camberwell Village Enhancement Strategy.

“This decision highlights the significant water system impacts of coal mining. The PAC has made it clear that the mine represented an unacceptable risk to the Hunter River System and the aluvial aquifers connected to it. This decision is a clear line in the sand – we cannot continue to allow mining to disrupt the water our community relies on for domestic supply and agriculture.

“Questions now arise about why the Department of Planning wasn’t able to see the impacts on the community and Hunter Regulated Water System.Their insistant support for the project despite concerns from the key technical departments within Government raises questions about its role in all planning assessments around mining. Is the Department of Planning there to support planning for the needs of the community or for multinational mining companies?

“This is a win for the community and they deserve all our congratulations for continuing the fight in the face of opposition from big mining and now successive governments. It is a win for the entire state when community health and water is put ahead of profits.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 0419 444 916


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