Moolarben underground faces Greens anger

PLANS for the jewel in the Yancoal crown – the Moolarben open cut coal mine in New South Wales to continue underground – are under attack by the Greens who claim that it would disturb the Goulburn River in the nearby national park.
Moolarben underground faces Greens anger Moolarben underground faces Greens anger Moolarben underground faces Greens anger Moolarben underground faces Greens anger Moolarben underground faces Greens anger

Moolarben coal, image courtesy of Yancoal Australia.

Lou Caruana

Greens NSW mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said the NSW government had made an agreement with Yancoal which would it to mine under parts of the Goulburn River National Park, including the Goulburn River itself.

“This agreement to allow mining under a National Park sets a very concerning precedent,” he said. Mining should be prohibited in National Parks, without exception.”

“The good decision to protect The Drip [gorge] from coal mining, by including it in the Goulburn River National Park, should not be undone by setting a terrible precedent to allow mining under national parks.

“Coal mining is an industry in decline with many mines shutting down or reducing capacity. There is no good reason why the government should allow mining under a national park.”

The options supported by the NSW government relate to the proposed underground of the Moolarben Stage Two project, a spokesman for the Yancoal told ICN.

“The Office of Environment and Heritage has reviewed and approved the various options put forward to protect The Drip landform and enable access to Moolarben’s future coal reserves outside of the protected area.

“Yancoal has always been committed to preserving The Drip and proactively engaged with the Government to establish an arrangement providing for its environmental protection. No mining will be conducted at The Drip.”

The Greens are also concerned that today's announcement by Planning Minister Rob Stokes to increase resources to enforce planning conditions, is a forerunner to decisions to approve both the controversial Warkworth mine expansion as well as Drayton South coal mines, Buckingham said.

“Planning Minister Rob Stokes cannot continue to play the good guy talking up protections for the environment, while delivering continued expansion for the coal mining industry,” he said.

“Modern coal mining techniques are simply incompatible with preserving the environment and preventing dangerous climate change.”