‘Ludicrous’: First new coal license set to be granted in Sydney Basin since 1993

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 August 2018

The Greens NSW mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today expressed outrage that the NSW Government intend to grant the first new coal exploration license in the Sydney basin since 1993 to South 32 despite the company breaching its Environmental Protection Licenses 447 times in the past 18 years at its four existing collieries in south west Sydney.  The allocation of this license near Picton in the catchment of the Nepean River comes at the same time that the Liberals have sought to renew over 1000 km2 of existing coal exploration licenses in the Sydney basin held by the Government.

“South 32’s south-west Sydney coal mines have breached their environmental protection licenses 447 times in the past 18 years without any consequences, making a mockery of the law,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“It beggars belief that the Liberals are actually considering granting a new coal exploration license in the Sydney Basin to this repeat offender. The destruction caused by coal mining is clear and the community opposition is overwhelming.

“We need decisive leadership to end the NSW addiction to coal and a basic principle should be to not renew or issue new licenses and approvals in the Sydney Basin and our drinking water catchments.

“Why in 2018, with climate change biting, are the Liberal Government opening up new areas and renewing exploration licenses over massive parts of the Sydney Basin, paving the way for new coal mines here?

“It is ludicrous that the Government is even considering an application for a new coal exploration license in the catchment of the Nepean River in the Sydney Basin.

“The people of Sydney will not tolerate new or expanded coal mining and the Greens will be making an end to coal mining one of the key issues in the lead up to the state election,” said Mr Buckingham.

Endeavour Coal (a subsidiary of South 32) have had non-compliances with their Environmental Protection License at the West Cliff, North Cliff, Appin and Appin West Collieries every single year since 1999 for a total of 447 non-compliances. They have never had a single Penalty Notice for this.

This comprises 182 non-compliances on EPL 2504 since 2002, 218 on EPL 758 from 2000-2010 (in 2010 EPL 758 was combined with EPL 2504) and 47 non compliances for EPL 398 between 1999 and 2010 (when it was also combined with EPL 2504).

The new exploration license application is the yellow one in this map:

picton license

There are three massive exploration licenses held by the NSW Government (officially the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment) which are located in the Sydney Basin, including parts of the drinking water catchment that have expired recently and the Government has recently applied to have them renewed:

Title Date granted Date expired Size (km2)
AUTH 6 17-Jul-72 1-May-18 727
AUTH 278 18-Nov-87 15-Nov-16 262.5
AUTH 281 15-Dec-81 1-May-18 52
Total: 1041.5

Contact: Jack Gough 9230 2202 or 0427 713 101

One comment

  • So tragic that the greed and selfishness of a few in power can ruin the future of countless concerned citizens’ families and friends.


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