Home NewsAustralia Expansion of ‘most gassy’ coal mine given conditional approval by planning authorities

Expansion of ‘most gassy’ coal mine given conditional approval by planning authorities

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NSW planning authorities have permitted the growth of a coal mine in north-west NSW that has been described as one of many nation’s most “gassy”.

Whitehaven Coal utilized to increase the lifetime of its Narrabri Underground mine for 13 years to 2044.

After a two-day public listening to in February, the Impartial Planning Fee [IPC] panel, headed by the previous chief scientist of NSW Mary O’Kane, at present granted the undertaking conditional approval.

“The fee finds that, on steadiness, the appliance isn’t inconsistent with [ecologically sustainable development] rules,” the panel’s assertion learn.

“The undertaking would obtain an applicable steadiness between related environmental, financial, and social concerns.”

The approval contains situations designed to restrict the undertaking’s direct greenhouse fuel emissions, together with the event of a Scope 1 Emissions Minimisation Plan.

Approval ‘disgraceful’

The choice comes a day after Whitehaven was handed a nice of greater than $150,000 within the Land and Atmosphere Court docket for polluting a creek close to its Maules Creek mine in 2020.

Boggabri farmer Sally Hunter criticised the timing of the choice, and mentioned locals had little confidence the corporate would meet the situations the IPC had imposed.

A woman wearing a brown jacket and Akubra hat, standing in bushland looking unimpressed.
Boggabri farmer Sally Hunter is a long-time opponent of the increasing coal business in north-west NSW.(ABC Information: Elena De Bruijne )

Whitehaven Coal has beforehand breached situations at its different mines within the area, together with unlawfully taking greater than 1 billion litres of water in the course of the drought.

However the IPC can not legally take into account the earlier actions of a proponent when weighing up an utility.

Environmental advocacy organisation Market Forces has additionally criticised the approval, and referred to as on the corporate’s earlier lenders, together with NAB and Westpac, to rule out additional funding.

Campaigner Christian Slattery mentioned the undertaking was “in stark distinction to the conclusions of climate scientists … that no new coal mines can proceed if we need to restrict world warming to 1.5C.”

Whitehaven Coal has been contacted for remark.

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