IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project

THE NEW South Wales Independent Planning Commission had granted consent for Rix’s Creek Continuation project on Friday and published this outcome and an official “statement of reasons” on its website, only to withdraw the consent within a matter of hours due to an administrative issue relating to the assessment process.
IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project IPC does back flip on Rix's Creek Continuation project

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the dramatic developments in relation to the IPC's mishandling of the project highlight the need for urgent reform of the NSW planning system.

"It just beggars belief that the IPC could issue an approval for a major project involving 300 jobs and then be forced to withdraw the approval just hours later due to an internal stuff-up," he said

"Three hundred people have been waiting six years to find out if their jobs were secure into the future.  They received good news, only to have the certainty they had been hoping for taken away from them again hours later."

Galilee said projects like Rix's Creek involve massive investment and affect thousands of people.

"What should have been good news for NSW has turned diabolical, and once again the reputation of our state as an investment destination has been damaged," he said.

 "It's hard to understand why the planning minister and the NSW government would think that this is an acceptable way for the NSW planning system to operate."

Lock the Gate Alliance has called for more details to be released of a review of the IPC and has expressed frustration that the broader community in the Hunter region are not being treated seriously as stakeholders in decisions about coal mines.

The IPC dramatically withdrew the approval it had granted to the Rix's Creek coal mine just hours earlier, because the decision had been published before the closure of a deadline for public comment which may have created a legal error.

The IPC published a statement welcoming a review into its processes announced by the Minister for Planning.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Georgina Woods said it is clear the IPC intends to approve this mine as soon as possible.

"No public good is served by phony community consultation processes that have foregone conclusions and no one seriously expects the Commission's decision to be influenced in any way by submissions made in the next week," she said.

"It's obvious that the expansion of Rix's Creek will be approved and air quality in Singleton will deteriorate as a result."