Showing posts with label #BerejiklianGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BerejiklianGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Ecological Disaster in Murray-Darling River Systems January 2019: Trump-lite Scott Morrison blames Labor and the drought

@michaeldaleyMP, 13 January 2019

In March 2012 it was the O’Farrell Liberal-Nationals Coalition Government who received the above Memorandum on the Water Sharing Plan for the Barwon-Darling Unregulated and Alluvial Water Sources which covered both the Barwon-Darling unregulated river water source and the Upper Darling Alluvial groundwater source.

This NSW water sharing plan was clearly prefaced on creating a market for the sale of water rights and the needs of commercial irrigators and the mining industry:


2.1 Why are water sharing plans being prepared? Expansion of water extraction across NSW in the 20th century has placed most valleys at or close to the limit of sustainable water extraction. This has seen increasing competition between water users (towns, farmers, industries and irrigators) for access to water. This has also placed pressure on the health and biological diversity of our rivers and aquifers.

Plans provide a legal basis for sharing water between the environment and consumptive purposes. Under the Water Management Act 2000, the sharing of water must protect the water source and its dependent ecosystems and must protect basic landholder rights. Sharing or extraction of water under any other right must not prejudice these rights. Therefore, sharing water to licensed water users is effectively the next priority for water sharing. Among licensed water users, priority is given to water utilities and licensed domestic and stock use, ahead of commercial purposes such as irrigation and other industries.

Plans also recognise the economic benefits that commercial users such as irrigation and industry can bring to a region. Upon commencement, access licences held under the Water Act 1912 (WA 1912) are converted to access licences under the Water Management Act 2000 and land and water rights are separated. This facilitates the trade of access licences and can encourage more efficient use of water resources. It also allows new industries to develop as water can move to its highest value use.

In conjunction with the Water Management Act 2000, plans also set rules so that commercial users can also continue to operate productively. In general, commercial licences under the Water Management Act 2000 are granted in perpetuity, providing greater commercial security of water access entitlements. Plans also define the access rules for commercial users for ten years providing all users with greater certainty regarding sharing arrangements.

The warning in the Memorandum was ignored by the O’Farrell. Baird and Berejiklian Coalition Governments and, by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority when it drained 2,000 gigalitres of water from the Menindee lakes in 2017.

Obviously fearing the electorate will remember: a) that when the Abbott Coalition Government came to power it handed even more power over water resources back to the states & abolished the independent National Water Commissionand b) then recall the rampant abuse of water resources under then Deputy PM and Nationals MP for New England as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce as well as multiple allegation of water theft; Prime Minister and Liberal  MP for Cook Scott Morrison sought to wrongly blame first Federal Labor and then the drought for the ecological devastation which is occurring in the NSW section of the Murray-Darling river systems.

ABC News, 14 January 2019:



 The State Government is bracing for another mass fish kill in the Darling River this week, with soaring temperatures forecast in western NSW.

The mercury is expected to reach up to 46 degrees Celsius in the town of Menindee, where up to 1 million native species were killed in an algal bloom over the New Year.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a heatwave, caused by hot air being blown from Central Australia, would persist until Saturday and could break temperature records around Broken Hill.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said state and local governments would work with the community to manage the possibility of another ecological disaster.

"Well we know that we've got high temperatures right across the state and a lot of poor water quality situations particularly brought on by the extended drought so unfortunately we are expecting that we may see more fish killed," Mr Blair said.

The warning comes as contractors prepare to clear the 40-kilometre stretch of the Darling River of dead fish before their rotting carcasses compound the situation.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud will convene a meeting of State and Federal environmental and water stakeholders working under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Mr Littleproud proposed using $5 million for a native fish recovery strategy and will seek agreement for the money to come from Murray-Darling Basin funds.

"The reality is we're in a serious drought and the only silver bullet is rain," he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuted a report released by NSW Labor at the weekend claiming the Liberal Government ignored warnings about low water levels.

"I'm concerned today that some might want to play politics," he said.

"There were reports done by scientists under Labor's contribution to that plan back in 2012, the plan has been operating in accordance with that advice and so we need to just keep on working on the issue."

Mr Morrison said the fish kill was because of the drought.

"It's a devastating ecological event, particularly for those all throughout that region the sheer visual image of this is terribly upsetting," he said.

However, that is disputed by many people in Menindee, who argue poor water management has compounded the mass kill. [my yellow highlighting]

Morrison in blaming everyone but successive Federal (since September 2013) and NSW (since March 2011) Coalition governments forgets that Australian voters can read and, as late as June 2018 the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office as part of the NSW Interagency Working Group for Better Managing Environmental Water offered advice on the Barwon-Darling which both the current Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Drought Preparation and Response & Liberal MP for Maranoa David Littleproud and current NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water & Nationals MLC Niall Blair appear to have ignored until it was too late.

Footnote

1. One of the last things the National Water Commission (NWC) did before then Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott abolished it was to inform the Abbott Coalition Government that:

"Ten years on from the signing of the NWI, water reform in Australia is at a cross roads. Many reform gains are now taken for granted and the multi-party support that has been a hallmark of this historic agreement is at risk of breaking down.
Given the substantial government investments and hard-won progress so far, and the valuable but challenging gains yet to be realised, it is critical that there is no backsliding from reform principles.
Strong leadership is essential to realise the full benefits of water reform and to embed proven NWI principles into the decision making of all Australian governments."


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Just three months out from a state election and the NSW Berejiklian Government decides to introduce a new punative public housing policy guaranteed to upset a good many voters



In 2016 est. 37,715 people in New South Wales were recorded as homeless on Census Night.

The following year the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government had a public housing stock total of 110,221 dwellings and an est. 60,000 people on the Dept. of Housing 2017 waiting list.

Below is the state government’s answer to the effects of decreasing public housing stock and federal Coalition Government cuts to public housing funding allocations to the states - introduce a new initiative under the 'Opportunity Pathways' program which will cut the housing waiting list by increasing eligibility restrictions, privatise service delivery to certain categories of public housing applicants and tenants in order to ensure that vulnerable individuals and families are discouraged from seeking housing assistance.

The Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2018, p.2:

Public housing applicants will have to get a job if they want a taxpayer-funded home under a tough new test to be introduced in NSW.

The state government is overhauling the public housing system by stopping residents who languish on welfare for decades feeling entitled to a cheap home, paid for by the taxpayer, for their entire life.

Currently less than a quarter of social housing tenants are in the workforce. There are about 55,000 people on the public housing waitlist in NSW, and under the new program they will be able to skip the queue if they agree to get a job.

But if they get into the home then fail to get a job or maintain work they will be booted from the property.

Once they are secure in a job they will then move into the private rental market and out of the welfare system.

Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said the program will “help break the cycle of disadvantage”.

“This is about equipping tenants with the skills they need to not only obtain a job, but keep it over the longer term and achieve their full potential,” she said.

“We also want to set to a clear expectation that social housing is not for life and, for those who can work, social housing should be used as a stepping stone to moving into the private rental market.” The new program will be trialled in Punchbowl and Towradgi, near Wollongong, for three years across 20 properties. Its success will be evaluated over this time and it’s likely the program will be expanded across the state.

Homes will be leased for six months at a time, with renewal dependent on the resident maintaining their job or education, such as TAFE, and meeting agreed goals within the plan.


RFT ID FACS.18.30
RFT Type Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts
Published 23-Aug-2018
Closes 27-Sep-2018 2:00pm
Category (based on UNSPSC)
93140000 - Community and social services
Agency FACS Central Office

Tender Details

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from non-government organisatons with the capability to deliver the Opportunity Pathways program.

Opportunity Pathways is designed for social housing tenants and their household members, approved social housing applicants and clients receiving Rent Choice subsidies who aspire and have the capacity to, with the appropriate support, gain, retain and increase employment.

The program is voluntary and uses a person-centred case management approach to provide wrap-around support and facilitate participant access to services to achieve economic and housing independence (where appropriate).

The objectives of the program are to:

assist participants to gain, retain or increase employment, by accessing supports and practical assistance, and by participating in education, training and work opportunities
encourage and support participants to positively exit social housing or Rent Choice subsidies to full housing independence, to reduce their reliance on governement assistance, where appropriate

Please refer to the Program Guidelines for further details.

Opportunity Pathways will run for three years and delivered across NSW in those locations where a need and service gaps are identified.

The program will be delivered by one or more providers following an EOI and Select Tender.

Location
NSW Regions: Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, New England, Central Coast, Hunter, Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean, Northern Sydney, Inner West, South East Sydney, South West Sydney, Central West, Orana/Far West, Riverina/Murray, Illawarra, Southern Highlands

Estimated Value
From $0.00 to $36,100,000.00

RFT Type
Expression of Interest for Specific Contracts - An invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) for pre-registration of prospective tenderers for a specific work or service. Applicants are initially evaluated against published selection criteria, and those who best meet the required criteria are invited to Tender (as tender type Pre-Qualified/Invited). [my yellow highlighting]

As of June 2018 in NSW there were 200,564 people registered with Centrelink whose income was Newstart Allowance and, by September there were only est. 82,400 job vacancies available as the Internet Vacancy Index had been falling since April 2018. The number of job vacancies were still falling in October 2018 to 66,000 job vacancies.

Just three months out from a state election and it doesn't appear that the Berejiklian Cabinet or other Liberal and Nationals members of the NSW Parliament have thought this new policy through to its logical conclusion.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

NSW Liberal & Nationals politicians won't be satisfied until they have turned this state into a wasteland


Echo Net Daily, 3 December 2018:

The North East Forest Alliance has called the process used by the Commonwealth and State Governments to adopt new Regional Forest Agreements as a superficial sham simply intended to lock-up public native forests for private sawmillers at significant environment cost.

North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Dailan Pugh says there has been no attempt to assess or review environmental, industry or social data, instead they are relying on incomplete and out of date assessments undertaken 20 years ago.

’The Governments chose to ignore the recommendation of their own reviewer for a contemporary review that included an assessment of the effects of climate change,’ he said.

‘By rejecting the recommendation of their own review and proceeding on incomplete and out of date assessments the National Party have once again proven that their intent is to lock up public resources for private companies irrespective of the environmental costs and community interests.

Mr Pugh says NEFA are disgusted that the Governments have not publicly released their new RFAs, so it is not possible to know what changes they have made. ‘They are keeping us in the dark,’ he said. ‘The only document they have released is their resource commitments which show they are increasing the cut of high quality logs in north-east NSW by at least 10,000 cubic metres to 230,000m3 per annum, at the same time they are fraudulently claiming a shortfall of 8,600m3 per annum to justify opening up protected old growth and rainforest for logging.’

‘Due to their increased logging intensity they are intending to more than double the cut of small and low-quality logs from 320,000 tonnes per annum to 660,000 tonnes per annum.

‘The increased logging intensity and significant reductions in protections for most threatened species and streams is an environmental crime.

Mr Pugh says that out of more than 5,400 public submissions on the proposed new NSW RFAs, only 23 supported the RFAs. ‘There is no social license to continue the degradation of our public native forests.

‘Plantations already provide 87% of our sawntimber needs, it is time to complete the transition to plantations and establish more plantations on cleared land, while we actively rehabilitate our public native forests to help them recover from past abuses and restore the full suite of benefits they can provide to the community.

BACKGROUND
North Eastern, Southern & Eden Regional Forest Agreements
Image:NSW EPA




Here are links to NSW members of the state parliament:


List of Members, Legislative Council

If any readers wish to contact members of the Berejiklian Government in order stand up for native forests these links provide addresses, telephone numbers and, in the case of the Legislative Assembly, the names of electorates these politicians represent.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Tweets of the Week




Monday, 19 November 2018

Eastern Australia is now a global deforestation hotspot and koala numbers are plummeting


Image: Wilderness Society

Echo NetDaily, 16 November 2018:

Koala numbers have plummeted by 33 per cent over the last twenty years and experts are now warning that they are likely to be driven to extinction. In NSW the decline of koalas and other native wildlife is being driven by inadequate state laws regulating both private land clearing and logging.


The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) is calling on the NSW government to ‘abandon its draconian logging plans and chart an exit out of native forest logging, and for the federal government to rethink its commitment to signing new Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs),’ said Ms Alix Goodwin, NPA CEO.

They’ve based their call on the recent study by three University of Canberra academics for Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) reported recently in the Sydney Morning Herald that showed a strong majority of people oppose native forest logging. 

‘The study found that urban and rural votes broadly share the same strong disapproval of logging – putting the lie to claims that only urban dwellers care about the environment – and that logging is unpopular even where the remnants of the industry persist,’ said Ms Goodwin. 

‘The results are in line with polling conducted in the NSW electorates of Lismore and Ballina in December 2017 that showed 90 per cent support for protecting forests for wildlife, water, carbon stores and recreation.

‘This is the latest piece of evidence that clearly demonstrates how far the NSW government’s plans to intensify logging, abandon species protections and open protected forests up for logging are removed from public expectation,’ she said……

‘Koala numbers are plummeting in NSW. It is estimated they fell from 31,400 to 21,000 in the two decades from 1990–2010, and their numbers are continuing to decline in most parts of the state.

‘Deforestation rates have escalated in NSW and eastern Australia is now a global deforestation hotspot. We need new laws to turn this around.

‘We want people to understand that koalas face extinction unless we stop destroying their homes, which means ending deforestation and the bulldozing of habitat.’

NSW Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said: ‘In one district in the northwest of the state, more than 5,000 hectares of koala habitat were bulldozed in just 12 months.

‘Trees in that region were bulldozed at a rate of about 14 football fields a day, and that’s just one part of our state.

‘We know what the solution is. We need strong new laws to end deforestation and start restoring degraded habitat so wildlife like koalas can thrive.

‘That’s why we are advocating for law reform to protect high-conservation-value forest and bushland, and to set up a biodiversity and carbon fund to pay landholders to restore degraded areas.....

Sunday, 9 September 2018

How the NSW Wagga Wagga By-election is playing out for the Berejiklian Government



Darryl William Maguire ceased to be the state Member for Wagga Wagga on 3 August 2018 when he was allowed to resign in disgrace, after being identified by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption as being involved in corrupt conduct.

The Wagga Wagga State District By-election was held on Saturday, 8 September 2018.

Electors enrolled on 17 August 2018 numbered 55,220 with 46,272 people casting their vote in this by-election.

There was a field of seven candidates voters could choose from.

By Saturday night it was evident that the NSW Liberal Party had likely lost the seat which it has held continuously since 1957, with an est. 30 per cent swing against the party on first preference voting.

Second preference ballot counting is now underway and the two remaining candidates are Independent Joe McGirr and Labor's Dan Hayes.

The final result is expected to leave the Berejiklian Coalition Government with 72 members out of a total of 135 upper and lower house parliamentarians, with the Coalition holding 56 per cent of the lower house seats.

The next NSW general election is on 23 March 2019.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Berejiklian Government accused of timber fraud on NSW North Coast



North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), 27 August 2018:

 The North East Forest Alliance has accused the NSW Government of fraudulently claiming a shortfall in high quality logs available from State Forests in north-east NSW to justify their wind-back of environmental protections and intention to log oldgrowth forest and rainforest.

NEFA today released a review of timber yields and modelling for north-east NSW over the past 20 years that has identified a number of serious problems with yield estimations and allocations from the region that will be referred to the Auditor General.

"The most significant issue revealed is that the Government has removed hardwood plantations from yield calculations to concoct a yield shortfall to justify removing environmental protections, while apparently intending to reallocate plantation timber to low value products for export" says report author Dailan Pugh.

"According to the Government's data there is absolutely no need to log oldgrowth forests, or to remove other existing environmental protections to satisfy current timber commitments.

"The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) turned an identified surplus of 37,000 cubic metres per annum of high quality sawlogs from State Forests in north-east NSW over the next hundred years into a claimed deficit of 8,600 cubic metres per annum by simply excluding hardwood plantations from their calculations.

"The NRC's claim that 'it is not possible to meet the Government’s commitments around both environmental values and wood supply' is based on a lie. Nowhere do they identify that they excluded plantations. They did this to create the pretence of a shortfall.

"Plantations already provide some 30,000 cubic metres(14%) of high quality hardwood log commitments per annum, with yields projected to increase up to 75,000 cubic meters of high quality logs per annum into the future.

"NSW Taxpayers have spent $27 million just since 2000 establishing hardwood plantations explicitly to provide high quality logs to take the pressure off native forests.

"It is outrageous that the Government has excluded plantations to concoct a shortfall in timber from State Forests in order to justify increasing logging intensity, reducing retention of habitat trees, removing protections for numerous threatened species, halving buffers on headwater streams, as well as now opening up oldgrowth forest and rainforest protected in the Comprehensive Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system for logging.

"The Government recently issued an Expression of Interest for 416,851 tonnes per annum of low quality logs from north-east NSW, of which 219,000 tonnes (53%) is apparently to be obtained by downgrading all timber from the 35,000 ha of north-east NSW's hardwood plantations to low quality logs and committing them in new Wood Supply Agreements aimed at the export market.

"Three NSW Environment Ministers (Parker, Stokes and Speakman), along with the Environment Protection Authority, repeatedly promised that the new logging rules (Integrated Forestry Operations Approval) would result in no net change to wood supply, no erosion of environmental values, and no reductions in the CAR reserve system.

"Instead of honouring their promises, in a blatant ploy the Government has changed the wood supply, by surreptitiously excluding plantations, to justify erosion of environmental values and reductions in the reserve system.

"NEFA calls upon the NSW Government to honour their promises by reinstating the intended role of plantations in providing high quality sawlogs to take the pressure off native forests, and to use the resultant timber surplus to reinstate the environmental protections they are intending to remove", Mr. Pugh said.

Port News, 28 August 2018:

I noticed in the report by the NSW Government DPI’s principal research scientist, Dr Brad Law, which was published in the Port News on August 1that he claims recent audio recordings of male koalas in the hinterland of our state forests revealed evidence of up to 10 times the previously estimated occupancy.

Well obviously if this was the first time audio study of male koalas in the breeding season had been carried surely finding any koalas at all would be an increase in findings. The Australia Koala Foundation showed that one male koala 'Arnie' a dominant male occupied a home range of 43 hectares in area so no doubt the study took precautions to not record the same koala in other of the 171 sites.

Each site however did not always record even one or two scats. The evidence proves only 65% of the 171 sites tested held one koala and the scats do not prove in any way a home colony had even once existed at these sites.

Dr Law rejoices that in his study that heavily logged, lightly logged and old growth forest areas showed similar results which seemed to suggest that logging of our NSW State Forests has no effect on koala numbers.

Really?

In a study by the recognised koala expert, Dr Steve Phillips, commissioned by our own PMHC he found that most of the suitably sized koala food trees have already been logged out.

So WTF do they eat?

This no harm heavily logged forest claim by Dr Law will get a real test soon when the NSW Government introduces intensive logging in “Regrowth B” area. A map obtained under GIPA by the North Coast Environment Centre indicates 142,818 ha. of our north coast state forests between Taree and Grafton will be clear-felled.

Any small trees left will be hauled away to the soon be established Biomass Plants at Taree, Kempsey and Grafton and now it seems a new “renewable energy” diesel manufacturing plant at Heron’s Creek. “Renewable” meaning over the next 100 years.

Any regrowth in the intensively logged forests will likely be sprayed and Blackbutt monocultures planted.

Oh, and so no damage is done to the forest populations of koalas and protected animals and plants small clumps of forest will be left.

How a male koala will roam to the next paradise island of the living dead to breed without being attacked by wild dogs or run over by logging trucks is not discussed in the literature.

Even Dr Law did not bother to defend his government’s offset scheme which will according to evidence presented at the PMHC Koala Roundtable result in local extinction of koalas in the Port Macquarie local government area…..

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Gloucester community's landmark climate change case began in NSW Land & Environment Court, August 2018




CASE SUMMARY

Gloucester Resources Ltd and Stratford Pty Ltd
v Groundswell Gloucester and Dept of Planning & Environment 


The Client: Groundswell Gloucester, a residents’ community group concerned with the environmental, social and economic future of the Stroud Gloucester Valley near Barrington Tops in the upper Hunter.

The Case: Represented by EDO NSW, Groundswell Gloucester was joined to proceedings that will determine the fate of the Rocky Hill Coal project, a greenfield open-cut coal mine less than 5km from Gloucester township.

Representation: Matt Floro, solicitor for EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for Groundswell Gloucester and our Principal Solicitor, Elaine Johnson, is the solicitor on record. We are grateful to barrister Robert White for his assistance in this matter.

Experts: Emeritus Professor Will Steffen will for the first time give evidence in an Australian court that no new fossil fuel developments can be approved if we are to avoid overspending our carbon budget. Professor Steffen is a Climate Councillor on the Climate Council of Australia, Member of the ACT Government’s Climate Change Council, and was previously a Climate Commissioner on the Australian Government’s Climate Commission.

Energy analyst Tim Buckley will explain the financial mechanisms and market changes that are driving investments away from coal and creating a risk that Rocky Hill will become a stranded asset. Tim Buckley is Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

60 community objectors include farmers, doctors, Traditional Owners and young people. This is also the first time in an Australian court that young people will talk about the impact of climate change and the impact of the mine on their communities, and future generations.

Timeline:

2016 - Community celebrations after AGL withdraws its application to drill 330 coal seam gas extraction wells in the area.

December 2017 - celebrations continue when the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refuses consent to the Rocky Hill Coal Project proposed by Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL). The PAC found that the mine was not in the public interest because of its proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and direct contravention of the area’s zoning plans.

The PAC also refuses consent to a Modification of the consent for the nearby Stratford mine - operated by a related company of Yancoal Australia Limited - that proposed the receipt, processing and railing of coal from the Project.  The PAC found that the Modification would have no critical purpose or utility outside the Project.

Planning Minister grants both mining companies the right to appeal the refusal of consent to the Land and Environment Court.

February 2018 - Our client, Groundswell Gloucester, seeks to be joined to the proceedings.

April 2018 - following a full-day hearing, the Land and Environment Court orders that Groundswell Gloucester be joined to the proceedings brought by GRL.
In relation to the climate change ground, on joining Groundswell Gloucester, the Court noted that:
“GRL submits that the raising of the climate issue as proposed in a domestic Court if the Intervener were joined would not serve the purpose of improving this particular planning decision; and, instead, would be a “side show and a distraction”. I do not agree.”

Our client has been permitted by the Court to present expert evidence on climate change and the social impacts of this new mine. The Court will hear anthropological evidence about the social impact of mining on the community.

This is the first time an Australian court will hear expert evidence about the urgent need to stay within the global carbon budget in the context of a proposed new coal mine.

Key dates
13-14 August 2018
Opening submissions at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney
15 August 2018
Site visit (parties only) Gloucester
16-17 August 2018
Hearings in Gloucester (community objectors)
20-24 & 27-31 August 2018
Submissions and expert witnesses at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Background

This is the first hearing of its kind since the historic Paris Agreement in which a superior jurisdiction Australian court will hear expert testimony about climate change, the carbon budget and the impacts of the burning of fossil fuels.

For years EDO NSW has supported the Gloucester community, providing legal and scientific advice. This contributed to a recommendation from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in 2016 to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to refuse GRL’s greenfield mine application, known as the Rocky Hill Coal Project (the Project) and the associated Stratford modification.

In December 2017, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refused consent to the Project and the modification, finding they were not in the public interest because of proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and the area’s zoning under planning laws.

In deciding how the Project and modification would be assessed, the NSW Minister for Planning granted unusual merit appeal rights to GRL and Yancoal who are now joined together in aggressively challenging the refusal in the Land and Environment Court.

Both coal companies have recruited their own legal and scientific teams. However Groundswell Gloucester was not told about the merit appeal until February, two months after GRL filed the case.

EDO NSW case page: www.edonsw.org.au/groundswell 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Concerned citizens can donate to the Environmental Defence Fund here.