Government blocking papers on Shenhua Watermark coal mine

Media Release

9 May 2013

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham questioned why the government was repeatedly blocking access to documents relating to the granting of the Shenhua coal exploration licences by disgraced former Minister Ian Macdonald?

Mr Buckingham has moved a ‘call for papers’ on the project six times, but each time the government has blocked the motion. The Shenhua Watermark project is currently before the Department of Planning after public submissions closed.

“Why is the National Party covering the tracks of Ian Macdonald on an exploration licence that most people think should never have been granted in such a productive agricultural area,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Given the serious probity issues relating to other coal licences granted by Ian Macdonald, it is only reasonable that parliamentarians should want to look into circumstances of the coal grants over the Liverpool Plains.

“The government’s constant rejection of this call for papers indicates that they are more concerned with supporting the Shenhua Watermark coal mine than in transparency and probity of the operation of the Mining Act.

“If the government continues to block access, the Greens will move to move the motion by contingency and therefore force a public debate on whether or not these documents should be made public.

“The Shenhua Watermark licence should never have been granted as it threatens the productivity of some of the most fertile cropping country in Australia,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916


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