Nationals fail to protect Liverpool Plains from coal mine after PAC assessment
MEDIA RELEASE – 5 September 2014
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today accused the National Party of failing to protect the most fertile agricultural land in NSW from a damaging coal mine, after the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) recommended conditional approval for the Chinese government owned Shenhua Watermark coal mine. On the Liverpool Plains.
The PAC chastised the NSW Government for failing to properly protect agricultural land:
“The Commission also recommended that following on from the work undertaken in the New England North West Regional Land Use Plan, the NSW Government should undertake some more detailed work or refinements to identify and protect those highly valuable, fertile black soil plains where mining should be prohibited.” (Executive Summary, page 3)
“The approval of a coal mine in the middle of the most productive soils in NSW shows that the National Party has capitulated to the mining industry and fundamentally failed to protect agriculture,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“It’s now clear that nothing is sacred and nowhere is safe from mining in NSW.
“Our politicians and laws have failed us when a Chinese government owned coal mining company can put at risk the best soils in NSW and our precious water resources. This is not in the national interest, the environment’s interest, or in farmers’ interest.
“It’s time to admit that the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy has failed. It’s been used to con country people into thinking the government is doing something to protect prime agricultural land, but this approval shows the policy is a dud.”
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916