Planning Assessment Commission slams Bylong coal mine project

MEDIA RELEASE – 27 July 2017

NSW Greens energy and resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham called for the NSW Government to cancel the exploration licence for the proposed KEPCO coal mine in the Bylong Valley after a Planning Assessment Commission Review Report slammed the project for gaps in evidence and high levels of uncertainty, particularly about the potential cumulative impacts on the Bylong valley and the community.

The Planning Assessment Commission Report found:

“that substantial doubt persists about the potential benefits and impacts of the Bylong Coal Project, despite extensive research and peer assessment.  As a result, all aspects of the project will need to be comprehensively and cautiously considered, carefully weighted, and balanced one against another in any decision about the project.”

“As far as PAC reports go, this is an absolute savaging of the Bylong Coal Project and should act as a red light for the NSW Government,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“There is no reason to build a new greenfield coal mine anywhere in NSW.  There is already a hefty surplus of coal on global markets at a time when we should be rapidly phasing out fossil fuels to protect the climate.

“New coal mines have lost their social licence to operate.  We’ve seen the NSW Government recently buy-back the Caroona Coal greenfield project on the Liverpool Plains, and partially buy-back the Shenhua Watermark coal project area nearby.

“The Greens call on the government to recognise this coal project will wreck the Bylong Valley and its community and cancel the exploration licence.

“This PAC report recognises that there are significant areas of high quality agricultural land and precious water resources, as well as important heritage values that will be put at risk by the proposed Bylong Coal Mine.”

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