The Warkworth Mine extension proposal has exposed a hole in the NSW government offset policy
for mining, with rare, irreplaceable habitat set for destruction without any chance of a successful
biodiversity offset elsewhere in the local area, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
The proposed Warkworth open cut extension will destroy a conservation offset area guaranteed by a Deed of Agreement by the Planning Minister in 2003, which at the time allowed for the destruction of an area of endangered Warkworth Sands Woodland habitat for mining activity.
Now a proposed open cut mine extension will cut through the only remaining stand of the endangered
Warkworth Sand Woodland left in Australia, clearing 765 hectares of habitat for 17 threatened animals,
including the squirrel glider.
“The Warkworth Mine extension proposal is a prime example of the failure of offsets to protect the last
survivors of threatened species and habitat – there is simply no other location that can compensate for
these high conservation value areas,” Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“The proposed open‐cut mine at Warkworth Sands Woodland also exposes the dangerous game of peas-and‐cups being played with our environment.
“If a natural area has been set aside as an offset for mining activity then its habitat and wildlife should be
protected from mining and gas development forever, not destroyed at a later date in the push for mining
“The Hunter Valley is losing vital stands of trees and other vegetation needed for the survival of threatened species, and offsets will never replace them.
“The proposed offsets for destruction of 765ha endangered woodlands at Warkworth are over 100kms
away from the mine, in a different bioregion, with different geology, soil types and vegetation. No
reasonable person could describe this offset as adequate or protecting ‘like for like’.
“The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is calling on the NSW government to reject the Warkworth
Extension proposal and place the remaining Warkworth Sand Woodland area into a nature reserve, where threatened species and their habitat are permanently protected,” Mr Clarke said.