Central Coast Express Advocate
4th March 2011
The NSW Government today rejected the Wallarah 2 coal mine proposal near Wyong due to unresolved concerns regarding subsidence, water, ecological and heritage impacts.
This is despite a Planning Assessment Commission recommendation that it be approved.
NSW Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, said the proponent, the Korean-based company Kores working as the Wyong Areas Coal Joint Venture, had not adequately demonstrated the mine could go ahead without unacceptable environmental risk.
“The reality is, despite a lengthy and rigorous assessment, there remained simply too much uncertainty about the mines potential risks and, as such, I have decided the mine should not be approved,” the Minister said.
“The assessment process has been extensive, with a review undertaken by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), and an independent assessor outside of the Department of Planning engaged to assist in preparation of the final report.
“I am confident the right decision has now been made.”
Wyong State LAbor MP David Harris hailed the decision as a victory for common sense.
He said it had vindicated his position to oppose the project since 2007.
The coal mine issue first raised its head 15 years ago and some, like Mike Cam[pbell of the Australian Coal Alliance, has been actively fighting the proposal since that time.
He described the announcement as a victory for the community who had repeatedly said they didn’t want the mine.
Wyong mayor Doug Eaton said the council’s surveys had shown that 82 per cent of the population were opposed to the mine.
There’s specualtion that the Korean company Kores, which had made the application may now be considering options to apply for new mining rights in the Gunnedah basin.