Give Shenhua back its $300 million to protect the Liverpool Plains
MEDIA RELEASE – 13 July 2015
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said that the NSW government should give Shenhua back its $300 million and ask it to abandon plans to mine coal in the heart of the fertile Liverpool Plains. He claimed that the Shenhua company could recover a significant proportion of the $700 million it has spent on the project.
If Shenhua are paid back the $300 million exploration licence fee and sell the $200+ million worth of farm land they have bought, they should recover up to $500 million of the $700 million they have spent, allowing the company to protect its reputation and save money.
“Premier Mike Baird should offer to give back the $300 million that corrupt former mining minister Ian Macdonald extracted from Shenhua for the mining exploration licence, so that the prime agricultural land of the Liverpool Plains can be protected,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“It is only fair that we hand back the money if the company does not go ahead with mining the Liverpool Plains.
“The $300 million for the exploration licence and a further $200 million on grant of the mining licence has hung over the planning process like a bad smell. Many people see such large sums of money as corrupting the process and making it near impossible for either governments or planning officials to refuse the mine.
“It’s time someone in power put the national interest first and protected the best agricultural land in Australia. Premier Mike Baird has the opportunity to save our food bowl in the Liverpool Plains.”