42 Days to Respond to Vickery Coal Mine Extension proposal too short for drought-stricken farmer
MEDIA RELEASE – 24 September 2018
NSW Greens Resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW Government to extend the review period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Vickery Coal Mine Extension from 42 days to 90 days, to allow the local community adequate time to review the 4,000 page EIS.
The Extension Project proposes to increase mine extraction from 4.5 to up to 10 million tonnes per annum, with potentially significant impacts on surrounding landholders.
“The idea that farming families in Narrabri, Boggabri and Gunnedah, currently dealing with the drought, could get across the detail of 4,000 pages in 40 days is disrespectful at best. These are complex, technical documents that take time to digest and respond to,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“Planning Minister Antony Roberts sitting in his Lane Cove electorate office clearly has no understanding of the pressures on farmers in the day to day operation of their businesses.”
“This is effectively a new mine in a sensitive agricultural area, and the community must have adequate time to respond to the potentially significant impacts of the proposal on groundwater resources and noise especially.”
“The Greens strongly back the farmers’ very reasonable request of the Planning Minister to provide an extension of time to 90 days to review the documents. This extension of time will go some of the way to ensuring that there is proper scrutiny and consideration of the impacts,” said Mr Buckingham.
“There should be no new coal mines or coal mine expansions in an era of worsening climate change, especially with the impacts of climate change so evident in the impacts of this severe drought. It is negligent and irresponsible for the Government to be allowing this proposal to proceed.”