Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

2015 Media Releases

The Colong Foundation believes that overflights from the proposed Western Sydney Airport will cause significant noise impacts to wilderness in the Blue Mountains.  The Foundation fears that if the airport is approved the Blue Mountains will lose its green cachet and affect its tourist-based economy.
Posted: 15 December 2015
On Sunday 6 December the Colong Foundation for Wilderness organised a working bee of volunteers from Sydney University Bushwalkers and other bush walking groups to remove coal fines from the Wollangambe River.  More than forty people who care about this beautiful river walked to where Centennial Coal has left coal fines in the River since a major tailings dam collapse at Clarence Colliery on 2 July this year.  Everyone was shocked by the impact of the spill on the World Heritage listed River.  The river is still coated in black coal fines for many kilometres.
Posted: 7 December 2015
The Planning Assessment Commission shall soon hand down its review report for the proposed Airly Mine extension.  The Colong Foundation is increasingly concerned that major failings associated with this proposal will not be addressed:- cliff falls, and poor solid and liquid waste management.
Posted: 28 October 2015
“The proposed Badgerys Creek Airport draft environmental impact statement has confirmed a 24-hour a day operation and that means a lower quality of life for the people of Western Sydney”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 October 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that “water management for Centennial Coal’s proposed extension Airly Mine must be vastly improved.  The water management combined with the proposed 38 hectare solid waste heap creates a toxic time bomb.  Further, it’s Panel and Pillar extraction mine plan will put cliffs and pagoda complexes in the State Conservation Area at risk. He was speaking before the public meeting of the Planning Assessment Commission into the Airly Mine extension that is to be held at the Lithgow Union Hall at 3pm today.”
Posted: 23 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that “the second assessment report by the Department of Planning and Environment handed down last Friday largely agrees with recommendations of Planning Assessment Commission regarding approval of the Springvale mine extension.  Department has also flagged consideration of Springvale mine water transfer to Mt Piper and an independent expert panel will advise on the mine extraction plan regarding the nationally threatened upland swamps.”
Posted: 22 September 2015
[ Note: The CMFEU placed a notice on September 10, 2015 on the Save Our Jobs, Save Our Town facebook page postponing the family picnic rally stating that they 'required more numbers for that date to be beneficial'. ] Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the stand down of Springvale mine workers is the fault of Centennial Coal and no one else.  He was responding to today’s CMFEU family picnic rally held in Martin Place in support of Springvale’s mine workers.
Posted: 17 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the additional recommendations made by the second Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) may help to block Centennial Coal’s plans to wind back environmental protection measures. “The Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, decision to hold a second PAC hearing has helped to stop a wind backing of protection measures at this mine”, said Mr Muir.
Posted: 15 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the Lithgow Mercury and Centennial Coal must publish apologies in the front part of the paper regarding remarks defaming his reputation for honesty.  “I would never deliberately mislead anyone, especially when presenting a case for the Colong Foundation to a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC)”, he said.
Posted: 10 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that “today’s second public hearing for the Springvale Mine extension was necessary to correct a serious administrative error by the Department of Environment and Planning.  
Posted: 3 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that “Springvale mine expansion proposal must not proceed unless the swamp habitat of the threatened Giant Dragonfly is protected.  
Posted: 2 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness today convened a lunchtime demonstration outside the Sydney headquarters of Centennial Coal to protest the on-going pollution of rivers within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. “Twenty three million litres a day of mine effluent are sent down the Coxs River through the World Heritage Area and into Warragamba Dam from Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine,” Mr Muir said, after speaking at the demonstration.
Posted: 25 August 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness this afternoon welcomed the decision by Planning Minister Rob Stokes to recommend a further Planning Assessment Commission review for the Springvale mine extension proposal. “The Springvale mine extension does need to be considered in relation to the draft State Environmental Planning Policy on Mining,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 17 August 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said “Centennial Coal is causing unreasonable worry and fear in the Lithgow community by creating the impression that the Springvale mine will close when that outcome is not on the cards.”  He was responding to the public meeting called by Lithgow City Council this morning. “Springvale mine will not close for want of approvals.  Springvale might close for economic reasons, if Banpu, the Thai company that owns Centennial, considers there is no profit in running the mine,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 14 August 2015
Centennial Coal is trying to force the Government’s hand over the proposed 13 year mine-extension at its Springvale mine. “It appears as though Centennial Coal is trying blackmail both the State and Federal Government through a mine lock out during final negotiations over a proposed mine extension,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 11 August 2015
Nature Conservation Council of NSW The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd Almost one month after tonnes of finely crushed coal from a mine tailings dump collapsed into the Wollangambe River, the company responsible has still not begun a clean-up operation that was ordered by NSW Environment Protection Authority [1].
Posted: 30 July 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness has welcomed NSW Labor’s call for Environment Minister, Mark Speakman, to enforce ANZECC water standards on discharges from the Springvale Mine.  The Colong Foundation hopes that this appeal made jointly by Adam Seale and Penny Sharpe is sympathetically considered by the NSW Government.
Posted: 23 July 2015
“The waste heap collapse at Clarence Colliery is not Centennial Coal’s only serious environmental disaster, the Springvale Mine with more than 900 pollution licence infringements between 2000 and 2013 is far, far worse,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 22 July 2015
“The Gardens of Stone: In Focus Photographic Competition is going from strength to strength.  Now a prestigious and independent judging panel has been announced. Keith Muir, of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said today that the organisers were delighted to attract three eminent people for the panel. “News photographer Nick Moir, conservationist Joan Domicelj and Blue Mountains photographer Paul Chantler will bring their own special skills to the challenging job of judging the hundreds of entries,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 22 July 2015
Every glass of water or coffee a Sydney resident drinks has mine effluent in it! Centennial Coal is allowed to discharge up to 30 megalitres of mine effluent a day* from its Springvale mine into the Coxs River, with virtually no treatment.  This discharge then flows into the waters stored behind Warragamba Dam, our main water supply. 
Posted: 17 July 2015
“In May 2015 Planning Minister Rob Stokes* signalled that the community will be given a greater chance to "test the decision" on major mining proposals.  In line with the Minister’s decision, there should be another public hearing convened for the Springvale determination Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to investigate an apparent error in the review assessment”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 July 2015
“The revelation* that a Centennial Coal consultant warned in 2001 that the Springvale Colliery was causing serious damage to endangered swamps has triggered calls for another public hearing regarding this mine’s expansion proposals. Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that a second public hearing into the proposed mine-extension is necessary to ensure 29 nationally threatened swamps are protected from longwall mining.
Posted: 6 July 2015
"There has been a major environmental mine disaster in the Blue Mountains# said Mr Keith Muir director, Colong Foundation for Wilderness.   
Posted: 2 July 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Blue Mountains Conservation Society The Colong Foundation for Wilderness To bring attention to the amazing but threatened Gardens of Stone, a region that is the perhaps best-kept secret in Sydney's backyard, conservationists have devised an exciting new photographic competition.  This weekend groups of adventurous photographers will start to explore it.
Posted: 23 June 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Society of NSW  
Posted: 5 June 2015
The proposed requirements for mining applications that the NSW Government released yesterday[1] will fail to protect our water supplies.  These requirements include the replacement of existing protections for upland swamps with an offsetting process that allows these swamps, a vital part of our water supply catchments, to be damaged.  Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes this swamp offset proposal will have serious implications for water supply security.
Posted: 29 May 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council of NSW Scientists and conservationist are calling on the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to reject the expansion of a longwall coal mine near Lithgow because it would pump millions of litres of salty water into Sydney’s water supply and drain endangered swamps.
Posted: 26 May 2015
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Nature Conservation Council of NSW Blue Mountains Conservation Society Lithgow Environment Group   Centennial Coal has resolved to push ahead with a massive proposed expansion of the Springvale longwall mine project that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says would directly discharge 30Ml/day of high salinity mine water into the Coxs River.
Posted: 30 April 2015
“The proposed Badgerys Creek Airport is becoming a tale of two cities with design rules for the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport set to lower living standards for Western Sydney”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 18 March 2015
“One main environmental gain in Premier Baird’s 100 achievements released today relies on the EPA to improve of the local environment, yet it doesn’t stack up to much!  We are yet to see a ‘tough and independent’ EPA (achievement 76)’ acting as an effective pollution policeman.  Rather we currently have a pollution approval agency, generally captive to the industry it regulates as has been pointed out by the Upper House Inquiry also released today,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 13 February 2015