Bickham Coal’s underground option should be ruled out

MEDIA RELEASE

22 February 2012

Greens NSW MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has called on the Government to cancel the Bickham coal exploration licence following an announcement by the company that it was investigating underground mining options.  The previous open cut mine plans were rejected due to concerns for the environment and thoroughbred industry.

“It’s time that we just said no to more coal in NSW, Mr Buckingham said.

“An underground option will not address all of the concerns about the Bickham project.  There are still substantial issues about underground water, dust from stockpiles and the impacts of truck and train transport to support a mine in that location.

“The Hunter Community has had enough of being treated like a quarry. At risk are the remaining agricultural industries of the Valley and one of the state’s most important tourism areas. The Government should rule out this project before it gets any legs.

“The Government has lost control of their Strategic Regional Landuse process. The plan for the Upper Hunter is yet to be released for public consultation yet we have had a recent mine expansion approval at Warkworth, a number of other projects still being assessed and yet more coal mining being proposed.

“Yesterday the Government released an economic assessment of mining affected communities that showed the areas of the Upper Hunter were substantially underfunded by Government when it comes to services and infrastructure. More mining will only exacerbate the pressure on roads and health and education services.

“The Bickham project will put at risk the Thoroughbred breeding industry in the Hunter Valley. This industry provides thousands of jobs and contributes over $2.4 billion to the state annually,” Mr Buckingham said

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202  or  0419 444 916

 

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