Government sides with mining companies against communities with new planning policy
MEDIA RELEASE – 4 November 2013
Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham condemned the new Mining SEPP to be gazetted this week that elevates economic considerations above those of the environment and communities, saying that the government was lining up with the big mining companies against communities and the environment and that good planning principles were being jettisoned as part of a power play between Resources Mining Chris Hartcher and Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.
“This Mining SEPP is aimed at overturning recent decisions that recognised community and environmental concerns, such as the Warkworth mine expansion decision by the Land and Environment Court, the Planning Assessment Commission decisions on CoalPac near Lithgow and Drayton South in the Hunter,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“This Mining SEPP is all about providing the government with powers to push mining into communities that oppose them, or into areas where they will damage fragile environments.
“The Minister is lying when he says this is about ‘balance’. This is all about weighting the scales in favour of the big mining companies, so that communities or the environment are only second-rate considerations. It’s about delivering for Rio Tinto.
“The government has jettisoned the triple bottom line approach to modern planning and gone back to the bad old days where short-term money is the primary consideration.
“There is a power play happening between hard right Resources Minister Hartcher and moderate Planning Minister Brad Hazzard. The community and environment seem to be pawns in this internal Liberal Party factional warfare.”
Contact: Max Phillips 0419 444 916