NSW Planning Minister should give drought-affected farmers and communities an extension on submission for Vickery coal mine

The Greens have condemned NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts for a lack of compassion and due process after the Northern Daily Leader reported he has knocked back the request of drought-affected farmers for an extension on submissions about the Vickery coal mine expansion.

Greens Energy and Resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham wrote to Minister Roberts on 20 September this year seeking an extension on the exhibition and submission time from 42 days to 90 days on Vickery coal mine, following appeals for more time from regional farmers and community members. The Vickery coal mine submission document runs to 4000 pages.

“Minister Anthony Roberts has displayed the height of arrogance in ignoring local farmers and communities and failing to give them a fair chance of responding to a 4000-page document on Vickery coal mine,” he said.

“Minister Roberts has failed to acknowledge that many local folks are flat out keeping their livestock and farms alive in drought conditions. Local farmers and community members have asked for an reasonable extension of time to read thousands of pages of documents and make a considered response, but the Minister won’t listen.

“What does the NSW Government have to hide on this Vickery coal mine proposal?

“The NSW Government doesn’t care about regional communities and will use every dirty trick in the book to deliver for its miner mates. It’s another example of the NSW Government acting in the best interests of the mining industry, while giving communities and their needs short thrift.

“The impacts of drought should not get in the way of allowing the local community from having its say on the future of mining in the region and protecting their land and water from mining.

“The Greens and local community call on Minister Roberts to do the right thing and give them an extension on submission until 12 December 2018,” he said.

Copy of Mr Buckingham’s letter to Minister Anthony Roberts available here

📷: Northern Daily Leader

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