CWA of NSW welcomes decision on Shenhua coal mine project
The CWA of NSW has welcomed today’s nationally-significant decision by the State Government to end the prospect of a large open-cut coal mine in the middle of the Liverpool Plains in North-West NSW.
“After 13 years of uncertainty, we are so relieved to see the prospect of this highly-damaging and highly-controversial project finally put to bed,” said CWA of NSW State President Stephanie Stanhope. “Our members have always strongly believed that the Shenhua Watermark project was clearly the wrong mine, in the wrong place.
“The Liverpool Plains is one of the country’s most significant agricultural food bowls and also hosts the single largest underground water resource in the Murray Darling Basin. It’s absolutely clear there should never have been consideration given to the granting of a mining exploration licence this region, much less full approval for a three-pit open cut coal mine.”
CWA of NSW has been at the forefront of advocacy on this matter, being a key organisation involved in the historic Protect Our Land and Water Rally in Sydney in May 2012 and the organisation has continued to call for significant improvements to planning policy in NSW.
“The NSW government now need to prove that they are truly serious about the protection important agricultural areas, and overhaul the planning system so that certain special areas of the state, such as the Liverpool Plains, are off-limits to extractive fossil fuel industries that damage land and water,” Stephanie said.
“The fact that the Shenhua Watermark approvals took place is one of the strongest illustrations yet that the planning system in NSW for major projects has been, and clearly remains, broken,” Stephanie said.
“We hope today marks a new day for the state, a day where the importance of the protection of agricultural land and water is finally being understood by decision-makers, and a day also when the results of people power are realised.
“We sincerely thank the communities of the Liverpool Plains, and all their supporters, for their significant advocacy on this issue. The collective and unrelenting work of many, but most importantly the local community, has led to an outcome that will secure the future of this vital agricultural region and the generations to come.”
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