NSW Coal Communities
Communities around NSW are actively fighting campaigns against the Government's expansionary vision, its addiction to coal royalties, and the cumulative impacts of mining on the environment and on human health. The Greens use their presence in the NSW Parliament to work with these communities and help them take their fight to the Government.
Hunter coalfield (Upper Hunter)
Newcastle (Lower Hunter)
NSW mining is burgeoning:
According to the NSW Dept of Primary Industries and the Dept for Planning, between February 2006 and December 2008, over 35 coal mining projects were approved under Part 3A, making a total of 60 coal mines and 30 development projects across NSW coalfields.
The Dept of Mineral Resources has an inherent conflict of interest as the key advocate for coal mining in NSW, also having the responsibility for managing the environmental impacts. Recent regulatory reforms are inadequate, community consultation is proving to be a sham, and the Minister for Planning can use the infamous Part 3A to overide community, environmental and heritage concerns.
Community and environmental issues are systematically ignored in favour of the concerns of the mining giants who have a stranglehold on the Government and the Opposition, ignoring all calls for an assessment of the cumulative impact of excessive mining.
Clouds of toxic dust plumes sweep across surrounding towns and rural communities, into lungs and into water supplies. Read all the dirt on dust, follow this link by clicking here.
The Greens are campaigning to:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create quality jobs in a clean energy industry,
- ensure just transition programs are in place for coal industry workers,
- protect the environment, including a 1km buffer zone from longwall mining around water-ways; and
- ensure that the coal lobby prediction of a 50% increase in coal consumption by the year 2020 does not eventuate.
- An alliance of groups have signed on to support this campaign to protect our rivers from mining damage. http://www.riverssos.com/ or go to our contacts page here
- Read the RIVERS SOS report here on the damage already done, and the continuing threats to our fragile river systems.
- NSW Coal Affected Communities pdf report here.
- Submission to the Regional and Rural Task Force on the impacts of the expansion of coal mining in NSW
A draft copy of DECC’s "Action for Air 2009" leaked to the Greens, reveals the government’s continued failure to meet targets for photochemical smog and particle pollution.
Greens longwall mining motion that the major parties refused to debate in Parliament in November 2006.
- Special report into subsidies granted to the coal industry, commissioned by the Greens;
- Terms of Inquiry for the Greens Mining and Health Inquiry that failed to gain support from the major parties.
- Motions on the Notices Paper.
- Strategic inquiry into underground coal mining in the Southern Coalfield
- Camberwell reports show need to reject new mines
- Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the Minister for Planning to reject three new mining proposals for the Integra, Ashton and Ravensworth mines in the face of today's findings of the Camberwell Cumulative Impact Review which show unacceptable health impacts. The Greens have renewed their calls for an independent, cumulative study across the Upper Hunter to examine the health impacts of the rapidly expanding coal and power industries.
- Camberwell Common usurped
- Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the Minister for Lands Tony Kelly to reverse his decision to hand the Camberwell Common over to coal company Ashton Coal. The Greens are also seeking a full investigation into Ashton's operations that have resulted in cracking of the common, with prosecution if appropriate.
- MACARTHUR HERITAGE LECTURE SERIES 2010
- Information Night on BHP Billiton's Bulli Seam Project - if approved, it will be the largest underground coalmine in Australia, covering 220 sq kms, and will operate over the next 30 years. This massive mining proposal seriously threatens the Georges River and will also have impacts on the Nepean River, the Upper Cataract and the Woronora Rivers, all within Sydney's vital drinking water catchment.
- Govt, Nile, Shooters unite against Greens bill protecting prime farming land from mining
- Government MPs, the Shooters Party and Rev Fred Nile today indicated they will vote against a Greens bill in the NSW Upper House designed to protect prime agricultural land from mining. Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said farming communities from the Gloucester and Liverpool Plains regions would be understandably disappointed at the outcome.
- Major parties vote against Hunter & Lithgow coal health study
- Greens MP and health spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said the major parties' vote yesterday against her motion in NSW Parliament calling for a comprehensive population health study to investigate the links between the Hunter and Lithgow region's coal and power industries and poor health outcomes exhibited a lack of real commitment to the issue (extract from motion below).
- Call for coal health study on Lithgow's alarming levels of sickness and death
- Responding to today's report that the massive coal industry expansion in the Lithgow region is causing a range of serious health problems for locals, Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called for an EPA Office to be opened in Lithgow and for the proposed health study of coal affected communities in the Hunter to be extended to the western coalfields. (Sun Herald, pages 14-15, http://bit.ly/b0E2iE)
- Coal dust network 'rush' risks compromising quality of monitoring
- Greens MP and Hunter spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says Planning Minister Tony Kelly should make sure that the push to quickly install coal dust monitors, by suspending planning controls, does not overshadow managing key issues such as securing their optimum locations, ensuring they monitor dangerous fine particles and toxic dust and providing adequate resources to assess results and prosecute offending mining companies ('Rush to introduce Hunter coal dust monitors', SMH, p 3, http://tiny.cc/w85y0).
- Cobbora mine steals region’s water
- Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, who will speak at a public meeting in Mudgee this evening to discuss the proposed $1.3 billion Cobbora coal mine in Western NSW, said its four gigalitre water needs risked destroying the region’s water supplies. Ms Rhiannon is also concerned about the NSW government assessing its own mining proposal.
- Coal mine dust breaches beg investigation and prosecution
- Greens MP and Hunter spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said a report just released by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, reviewing air quality and the power and coal industries, demands prosecution of polluting mines, the fast tracking the proposed air quality monitoring network, and the establishment of new EPA offices in the Hunter (“Hunter Valley coalmines breach dust rules,” Newcastle Herald, today: http://tiny.cc/uao9x).
- Hunter health data review reveals a better study needed
- Greens MP and Hunter spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today’s report by NSW Health analysing existing health data for the Hunter region draws some worrying conclusions and underlines the need for a comprehensive, independent population health study and better pollution monitoring and prosecuting systems for the coal and power industries.