The Mining Amendment Act passed through NSW Parliament yesterday, with assistance from the Nationals and Shooters Party.
The legislation was the subject of many late changes during the debate, the full legal consequences of which are still unclear. CCAG is reviewing the legislation and will then comment further.
In a courageous move, Premier Keneally has ruled out coal mining at the controversial Bickham mine in the Upper Hunter, confirming the independent Planning Assessment Commission’s recommendation. Citing concerns from the thoroughbred industry and risks to water supplies, the Premier said that “[her government] will not jeopardise the growth of this important Australian export industry”.Clearly the same statements apply to the Liverpool Plains and its prime food producing land! CCAG President Sandy Blomfield commented today “Certainly, in this case, commonsense has prevailed and … [I] look forward to the water issues being addressed in all future mining proposals.”
Congratulations to everyone who campaigned for so many years to stop this environmental disaster.
In media reports this week, the largest coal producer in the world, Shenhua Energy, is so concerned about infrastructure in NSW that it is considering building coal-fired power stations near its planned mining operation in the Gunnedah basin and burning the coal on site.
Also, the senior vice-president of Shenhua Energy, the parent company of Shenhua Watermark, says there will be mining “under the river” on the Liverpool Plains.
So just how will these dovetail into Penny Wongs ‘Water for the Future’ MDB plan for a ‘strong and vibrant future for agriculture’, or Minister Macdonalds ‘no mining under the floodplain’ guarantee?
Update: Shenhua regrets a translation error with respect to mining under rivers.