Government lets KEPCO coal company off the hook for lying
MEDIA RELEASE – 9 August 2016
The Greens NSW energy and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today condemned the government for allowing Korean resources giant KEPCO and consultant Worley Parsons to get away with lying on their exploration application, after they dropped prosecution under the Mining Act and agreed to an ‘enforceable undertaking’ instead. Mr Buckingham warned that it set a terrible precedent for compliance and enforcement of the Mining Act and undermined any deterrence effect.
KEPCO were being prosecuted for the wilful provision of false and misleading information under the Mining Act. The company submitted photos of a completely different area, but claimed they were of the proposed drilling sites on a farm in the Bylong Valley.
If found guilty, the company would have been fined up to $110,000 and received a criminal record.
“Minister Roberts has essentially let this company get away with a lie and undermined the Mining Act,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The government had already approved this drilling project and it was only diligent landholders who picked up the deception in the application.
“It’s vital that a high standard of compliance is enforced with such potentially destructive processes involved in mining exploration. Any deterrence effect from this prosecution has been completely undermined by the government agreeing to drop the case.
“At a time where the Baird government is ramping up penalties against people protesting mining, they are letting mining companies off the hook for outright deception. Minister Roberts needs to explain this double standard.”