Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Springvale Mine - 2nd PAC review seeks better environment protection

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.

“Centennial Coal still wants to discharge its toxic mine effluent down the Coxs River through the World Heritage Area and into Sydney’s water supply.  Previously, environment regulators had required Centennial to eliminate its mine water by transfer to a power plant”, he said.  

“Somehow Centennial had hoodwinked regulators into a cheap and nasty waste disposal option. The second PAC report has at least asked that the original power plant transfer arrangements be considered as an “option”. This outcome is a small step towards getting back to where we were,” Mr Muir said.

“The PAC also has asked that the proposed Independent Monitoring Panel for the mine examine avoidance of swamp impacts and that its findings are be incorporated into the mine extraction plan for Springvale.  This proposed provision should help protect swamps and is far better than the original PAC recommendation - a frustrating process of monitoring swamp death”, said Mr Muir.

“Under the previous approval, the Sunnyside Swamp had been protected from undermining, so it is operationally possible to protect swamps.  These additional PAC recommendations now give hope that some swamps may be saved,” he said.

“The 29 nationally listed swamps on Newnes Plateau must not be destroyed by mining.  The Colong Foundation will continue to ensure that decision makers are fully informed about the destruction of these nationally listed swamps and urged to protect all swamps on Newnes Plateau”, Mr Muir said. 

“Centennial Coal will not get away with wrecking our heritage and is doomed to failure if it continues its record of environmental abuse and denial of damage”, he said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)

Reference: R032/15 - Springvale Mine Extension Project Second Review and go to the bottom of the page where you will find the second PAC review report.