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Hume Coal mine gets damning assessment from NSW Government

Coal News - Published on Wed, 12 Dec 2018

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ABC reported that a NSW Government department has raised grave fears about plans for a new coal mine south of Sydney, predicting groundwater impacts that are unparalleled in the state. The Hume Coal project would involve mining up to 3.5 million tonnes of coal a year over 19 years, near Berrima in the Southern Highlands. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment received almost 13,000 submissions, the vast majority of which objected to the mine on environmental grounds.

Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes, Archibald Prize-winning artist Ben Quilty and singer Leo Sayer were among high-profile local residents who voiced their opposition to the project. The department has now recommended that the mine, and an associated USD 37 million rail project, be refused.

In a statement, the department said the mine's economic benefits were not likely to outweigh its impacts on the environment and community. The statement said that "The department considers there is currently considerable scientific uncertainty about the level of environmental damage to both groundwater and surface water resources. The predicted drawdown impacts on the groundwater aquifer would be the most significant for any mining project that has ever been assessed in NSW."

Dr Ian Wright, one of Australia's leading water scientists, said the department's move was "unprecedented" and sent a clear message about mining in Sydney's drinking water catchment. We can't make any more drinking catchments - we're so lucky to have them - but once you put a mine in, every single one I study causes pollution for ever and ever. So this is just going to avoid yet another major pollution source that possibly we'll pass onto our grandchildren."

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 12 Dec 2018
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