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Windsor joins forces with Lock the Gate to oppose Shenhua

FORMER Independent Member for New England in New South Wales Tony Windsor has joined farmer activists from the Liverpool Plains in a media campaign that seeks to pressure the new Turnbull Government to cancel the approval of Shenhua’s proposed Watermark coal mine.

Lou Caruana
Windsor joins forces with Lock the Gate to oppose Shenhua

In a television commercial Windsor attempts to warn his viewsers of the dire potential impacts from mining.

“They are mega mines over the top of the biggest water system in the Murray darling so the risks in terms of those groundwater systems could be catastrophic,” he says in the video.

The Watermark project still has to clear more greentape challenges with operating and management plans to be filed in the December quarter.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt also said the project was still subject to 18 of the strictest conditions in Australian history.

The Watermark open cut project is targeting up to 10 million tonnes per annum run of mine over 30 years with about 84% of the saleable coal to be of a metallurgical grade.

National Coordinator at Lock the Gate Alliance Phil Laird said: “The Liverpool Plains are no place for a massive coal mine that will threaten some of the nation’s best agricultural land that contributes about $332 million to our GDP annually.

“We do not want to repeat on the Liverpool Plains the mistakes we’ve made in the Hunter Valley allowing industrial-scale mining in farming areas.”

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted in 2011, ‘the Liverpool Plains are an agricultural treasure that which must be protected which means thorough science and hydrology’

“It’s not too late for the Prime Minister to stop the Shenhua mega mine from going ahead.

He must urgently revoke approval for the mine to safeguard Liverpool Plains land, water and community.”

But the New South Wales Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said federal politicians from all parties who claim to support regional jobs should back the federal government’s proposed reforms to restrict anti-mining, anti-job protest groups using legal processes to deliberately delay legitimate mining projects.

In NSW and across the country, organisations determined to shut mines and cut mining jobs have undertaken calculated campaigns, including frivolous legal appeals designed to delay and obstruct important projects, he said.

“There are a number of activist protest groups gaming the legal system in an attempt to kill off the mining industry and the jobs it provides. These groups have never seen a mine they didn’t want to shut nor a mining job they didn’t want to cut,” Galilee said.

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