In a reckless decision Environment Minister Melissa Price, has approved the Wallarah 2 coal mine in the Jilliby Creek catchment, a major source of drinking water for the entire Coast.
Minister Price has ignored the Central Coast community’s pleas to use her powers to stop this mine.
This decision is short-sighted and dangerous.
The government is prepared to risk the water supply of the entire Central Coast for this highly speculative foreign owned coal project.
Under the previous Labor Government, a ‘water trigger’ was written into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) 1999 to protect precious water catchments from the well-known impacts of long-wall coal mining.
Labor established an Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development to ensure proposals for new coal mines were examined for their impact on critical water resources and endangered species.
In 2013 the IESC raised a long list of potential impacts of the Wallarah 2 coal mine on the water catchment and endangered species.
Rather than listen to the independent expert advice this government recruited new IESC members to tell it what it wanted to hear.
It appears the Minister and the Government’s hand-picked IESC are prepared to allow KORES to make it up as they go along, allowing monitoring and self-regulation to take the place of proper controls.
The set of conditions Minister Price has applied will be too little too late when the predicted subsidence occurs damaging water supplies in the catchment.
Can the Minister guarantee that a secret deal between a NSW Government-appointed Central Coast Council administrator and Kores, to replenish the water catchment with treated mine water, will not put the health and wellbeing of our community at risk?
I have always opposed this mine and will continue to stand with the community to stop this coal mine.
Quotes from Labor’s candidate for Robertson, Anne Charlton:
It appears Liberal women are now happily throwing each other under the bus.
The Liberal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, knows full well that Wallarah 2 is not in the interests of this community or the environment and yet she has been unable to dissuade Environment Minister, Melissa Price, from approving a coal mine that nobody wants within months of an election.
I will stand with my community to fight this decision and ensure we protect our local sustainable water supplies.