Friday, 13 April 2012
Mining lease applications by repeat offender must be refused
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW today called on the Minister for Resources and Energy to refuse five mining lease applications from the Moolarben Coal Complex, following revelations that the miner has repeatedly breached environmental laws.
NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said the mine’s record means it should not be granted approval to extract a further 12 million tonnes of coal a year for the next 24 years.
“Moolarben has pleaded guilty to polluting the Goulburn River and Bora Creek, it has already been fined once previously for polluting the same waterways and has been prosecuted for illegally clearing endangered vegetation.
“State mining laws require the Minister to consider the track record of any company that applies for a mining lease, to ensure that only individuals and companies with a satisfactory environmental record are granted mining rights.
“In this case, it is clear that the Moolarben mine has comprehensively failed to meet its legal responsibilities, placing rivers, creeks and wildlife habitat at risk.
“This mine already directly threatens the integrity of the Drip and Corner Gorge, an iconic natural area and popular tourist destination.
“There is a golden opportunity to add this area to the Goulburn River National Park and protect it forever rather than allowing it to be threatened by expansion of the Moolarben mine.
“If the expansion plans are granted, another 18 million litres of groundwater a day will be extracted and mining will encroach within 100 metres of the bed of the Goulburn River.
“There is already a history of erosion, unstable water channels, poor downstream water quality and cliff instability and now the headwaters of the Goulburn River are under threat from a proposed mega mine.
“Add to this, these latest breaches and what more evidence can the State Government need to deny the expansion of this mine?” Mr Clarke said.
More information: Jilea Carney 0478 224 020
 “To ensure that only individuals and companies with a satisfactory environmental record are granted exploration and mining rights, applications for new authorities and transfers must include an environmental performance record. An environmental performance record, defined in the Mining Regulation 2010, requires the disclosure of any convictions or revocations of approvals under specified legislation that have occurred in the 5 years preceding the application.” www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/minerals/info/legislation‐changes/frequently‐asked‐questions