Australian Coal Alliance vows to fight Wallarah 2 coal mine decision
Summary: THE Australian Coal Alliance says it will continue to fight the Wallarah 2 coal mine until “we drive the enemy from the gate”.....
ACA’s Alan Hayes said the fight was not over, despite the Planning Assessment Commission’s (PAC) recent approval of the Wallarah 2 long wall coal mine under the Dooraloong and Yarramalong Valleys.
“It’s not over,” he said. “We will go to the Land and Environment Court and challenge the decision.
“The Australian Coal Alliance, on behalf of Central Coast residents, will continue this fight. We fully expected that this is what we would have to do.
“The PAC and Planning Department all acknowledge that this mine is beneath a water catchment and they acknowledge that it will impact the water catchment. Coal mines and water regimes do not mix.”
Wyong state Labor MP David Harris has called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to intervene and put a stop to the mine, owned by Korean resources company Kores.
In its determination, the PAC said the proposal was in the public interest and would be allowed, subject to 89 conditions.
“The creation of 300 operational jobs and 450 construction jobs, along with the investment in the local area, would have significant local benefits for the community, provide investment in the Central Coast and contribute to the growth of the region,” the Commission stated.
It said the impacts and potential risks could be “appropriately managed through the framework of rigorous controls and requirements”.
The Commission also acknowledged the mine’s location under a sensitive drinking water catchment, and the uncertainty of the global coal industry and carbon pollution issues, but said the risks were “small and acceptable”.
“The framework of conditions requires formal reviews of the subsidence predictions and impacts, adaptive management, compensatory water supply and, ultimately, include requirements for mining to cease if this is deemed necessary.
“The Commission has found that these extensive conditions will provide a precautionary approach to protecting the drinking water supply catchment.
“The Commission has noted the impacts of subsidence on flood levels and emergency evacuation routes, and the requirements for works to be undertaken to raise or relocate dwellings and relevant road levels.”
Mr Harris said residents needed to know that the determination meant 300 megalitres of treated mine water waste would be released into the Central Coast water supply each year.
“In 2011 Barry O’Farrell said there were no ifs and no buts about the mine being stopped,” he said.
“Well, now there are no ifs and no buts that the Premier is the only person who can stop this.”
Mr Hayes said the fight had already been won twice before, with the mine rejected by the Labor Government in 2011 and the Land and Environment Court in 2014.
“The mine keeps being allowed to resubmit the DA,” he said.
“One of my main concerns is if we do win in court, Wallarah 2 will just come back and lodge another DA.”
The ACA has been fighting the mine for 22 years with no plans to “roll over”.
Mr Hayes said he was encouraged to continue the fight every time he looked into his granddaughter’s eyes.
“It’s her future and the future of everyone’s children and grandchildren. They deserve to have an area to live in which remains pristine with a reliable water source,” he said.
“it’s not as if we can go across the hill to another water catchment. whether you live in patonga, kincumber or the entrance, it comes from these valleys.”
wallarah 2 has announced it will be running community consultation sessions on the last Wednesday of each month, starting in February