Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt

A PROPOSAL to expand Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine’s underground coal mining area allowing it to operate for another 13 years has been referred to News South Wales independent Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision.
Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt Springvale gets green tick but 300 jobs still in doubt

 

Lou Caruana

But the fate of 300 workers at the mine who will be stood down from August 21 is still unknown because the extension project still needs federal government approval.

Last week Centennial Coal executive general manager external affairs Katie Brassil said the company has no option other than to stand down the majority of the Springvale workforce because of the delays in approval.

“Springvale mine requires both state and federal approvals to allow it to continue operating,” she said.

The application has been put under the microscope through a number of extensive reviews, involving analysis by independent experts and community consultation, a NSW Department of Planning and Environment spokesperson said.

The Department has recommended the mine’s expansion be approved with a number of strict conditions to manage potential impacts, including strict limits on the salinity of mine-water discharges, developed by the Environment Protection Authority; strict requirements on offsetting subsidence impacts to upland swamps, including a Swamp Offset Bond and a swamp monitoring program; and an action and monitoring plan for the Upper Coxs River.

The proposal was previously subject to a review by the Commission. The Department’s recommended conditions are based on the findings of that review.

Springvale mine is the only local coal source for the Mt Piper Power Station, which provides 15% of NSW’s electricity.

The spokesperson said the expansion would secure 310 full-time jobs and an additional 60 jobs during construction as well as 1,200 indirect jobs across NSW.

“In addition, $200 million in royalties, taxes and other income will be provided back to the State to be spent on services such as hospitals, school and roads.”

The Commission will make the final determination on the project, taking into account the Department’s final assessment and community feedback.

If the proposal is approved by the Commission, it will be subject to regular inspection and review by the Department’s Compliance Officers who will ensure the mine is adhering to its conditions.

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