Since the 1980s the Colong Foundation, the Colo Committee, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, along with the National Parks Association and Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs have brought the plight of the Newnes Plateau to public attention. Longwall coal mining was collapsing literally hundreds of cliffs along the Plateau.
Coal mining on the western side of the Blue Mountains causes up to two metres of surface subsidence. The rock strata above longwall mining operations in the Mountains collapse into the void created by the mining. The ground cracks with subsidence, creek flow and water levels in swamps diminish, and if cliffs or pagodas rest above the coal seam, these topple and collapse.
The response to the damage has produced further monitoring (that reported more cliffs falls), euphemistic language and inadequate protection zones to reduce the damage.
NSW exported 91.5 million tonnes of coal in 2007 contributing to the greenhouse gases that will affect the world our children will live in. The Colong Foundation hopes that Lithgow Council will develop alternate avenues of productive work for their residents that protects the environment and enriching their lives, such as tourism.