MEDIA RELEASE – 17 February 2016
The Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today said the admission from a federal government source to the ABC that the Shenhua Watermark coal mine was “unlikely” to go ahead and the expiration of the exploration licence on Monday, provided the opportunity for the NSW Government to provide farmers on the Liverpool Plains with certainty by giving the Chinese mining company its money back and cancelling the licence forever.
“The admission that the Shenhua Watermark coal mine is “unlikely” to go ahead highlights the need for the Premier Mike Baird to act to end the shambles and provide certainty to farmers,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The Shenhua Watermark coal mine makes no sense in the current commodities market and has virtually no support to go ahead. Premier Mike Baird should end the uncertainty, can the mine and negotiate the return of the $300 million the company paid the NSW Government for the exploration licence.
“The NSW Government should establish and reveal whether the Chinese Government moratorium on new coal mines applies to the Shenhua Watermark coal mine?
“Why should the fertile Liverpool Plains be damaged for a giant new coal mine when a decline in demand and the massive glut of coal on the world market has caused the suspension of new coal mines in China itself?
“Farmers need certainty to make investment decisions, so it is important that the threat of this mine does not hang over their heads for years to come.”