NSW Government declares total war on Hunter Valley communities with Warkworth approval

MEDIA RELEASE – 5 March 2015

The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said that the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) decision today to approve the Warkworth and Mt Thorley coal mining expansions sent a clear message that the Baird Government have declared total war on Hunter Valley communities and are prepared to sacrifice them on the altar of multinational coal mining profits.

“The Planning Assessment Commission has made it absolutely clear that the Baird Governments’ legislative and policy agenda was the key factor in their decision today to approve a mine that both the community and the courts have rejected.”

In the review report for the Warkworth Extension the PAC said:

“Whilst the commission notes that the current application is very similar to the previous Warkworth Extension Project that was refused by the LEC, significant legislative and policy changes have occurred since that time”

Jeremy Buckingham said:

“Mike Baird and the National Party have deliberately disempowered the Hunter community and the courts through their reckless and one-eyed pursuit of coal by taking away third party appeal rights and introducing retrospective legislation for the benefit of Rio Tinto.

“The message from this decision is clear: the Baird Government have declared total war on Hunter Valley communities and are prepared to sacrifice them on the altar of multinational coal mining profits.

“The Nationals have nailed their pro-coal colours to the mast by supporting this irresponsible and unnecessary expansion of coal mining in the Hunter.

“It is outrageous that the local Nationals member, Michael Johnsen, couldn’t even wait for the PAC to make a public announcement before rushing to embrace this massively destructive coal mine which has been fought tooth and nail by locals and environmentalists.”

“Labor also needs to make their position on this project clear and should not be allowed to walk both sides of the street on coal mining before the election”

“The Greens are the only party with a serious policy to phase out coal, support renewables and with a detailed policy for regional renewal.” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Contact: Jack Gough – 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

 

 

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