Consent conditions are not enforceable
A coal mine is legally entitled to change the nature of its mining operations. For example, a water diversion could be discontinued if logistical problems arise or costs increase. Consent conditions issued by a local council or the Minister for Planning "have no effect" on mine operations because:
Many conditions laid down in a development consent under planning law for a coal mine have no legal force once a mining lease is granted (eg. protection zones for streams, swamps, cliffs and pagodas).
Section 65(3) of the Mining Act allows mining lease conditions to trump any and all conditions contained in a development consent that relate to mining, mining methods, site rehabilitation, safety measures, or security to be given for those matters.
It is certainly debatable that any condition requiring the transfer the mine pit water from, for example, the Wollangambe River to the Coxs River catchment have legal force.
The mining industry has caused hundreds of cliffs falls despite development consent conditions that prohibit cliff damage. The Gardens of Stone are too beautiful to simply allow the coal mining industry to abuse.
Stop the damage. Take photographs of the damage and send these images with a letter to your local politician and to the papers. Send copies of your images and letters to the Colong Foundation so we can help you take action.