MEDIA RELEASE – 23 October 2017
NSW Greens resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today congratulated the people of Gloucester for fighting off the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine after it was recommended for rejection by the Department of Planning.
The Department of Planning’s report concludes: “The Department does not believe that the impacts of [the mine’s] proximity are able to be dealt with through conditions to the consent, and as a result the Department has not made any recommendations in relation to possible conditions. Having assessed all matters relevant to the amended project as set out in this report, the Department does not consider that the amended project is able to or should be approved, and the Department does not recommend that the Commission approve the development.” [page iii]
“Has the worm finally turned? Finally some common sense from the Department of Planning on a mine application in NSW!” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The Planning Assessment Commission should now reject this mine and the government should cancel the exploration licence for the area to give the residents of Gloucester some certainty for the future.
“This is fantastic news for the people of Gloucester. The mine was far too close to residential areas and impacted good agricultural land and would have severely impacted the town and the valley.
“Gloucester should be a hub for tourism, agriculture and lifestyle. The Greens congratulate the Gloucester Groundswell community group and all the residents who campaigned to preserve the beauty and amenity of their wonderful valley.
“This resilient community has fought off AGL’s proposed 300 coal seam gas wells, and now a coal mine that would have come within a kilometre of the town. It shows that gaining a social licence to operate should not be dismissed by corporate leaders.
“In an era of climate change we must phase out coal mining. There should be no new coal mines built in NSW and the government should implement a structured phase out of coal with a transition strategy for those communities and regional economies that are impacted by coal mining.”