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Citizens forced to take legal action to protect the Georges River

NCC has welcomed the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to significantly reduce the salt and heavy metals BHP Billton is permitted to pump into the Georges River but has criticised the state government for failing to act until local residents took legal action.

“The people of the Macarthur area people should not have been forced to take legal action to protect Georges River from the toxic discharges from BHP’s dams,” NCC Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke.

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O'Farrell must deliver on water catchment promise, rule out Wallarah 2

The resurrection of the Wallarah 2 coal mine proposal near Wyong on the Central Coast highlights the need for binding legal protections for the state’s drinking water catchments, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

The state government is again calling for public comment on the project, which was rejected in 2011 because of its unacceptable risks to water resources and risks to wildlife.

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Have your say on sweeping changes to NSW planning laws

It's time to take a stand against the most significant changes to our state's planning and environmental laws in a generation.

Recently, the NSW Government released its planning White Paper together with a draft Planning Bill.

The sweeping planning reforms proposed in the White Paper signal a significant backward step for public participation and environmental assessment.

The White Paper proposes applying a fast track ‘code assessment’ approach to more than 80% of developments, including commercial buildings, apartment blocks and land subdivisions. Local councils will not be able to refuse proposals which comply with relevant codes.

The White Paper and Exposure Bill can be downloaded from the Department's website.

Submissions on the White Paper and Exposure Bill can be made until 28 June 2013.

NCC has prepared a Submission Guide to assist members and supporters in preparing their own submissions to the White Paper. The submission guide, and other useful information, is available to download below.

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Rio Tinto appeals court decision on Warkworth Extension

“Residents of the village of Bulga in the Upper Hunter thought years of bullying and intimidation by mining giant Rio Tinto might have ended last week when the Land and Environment Court overturned the state government’s approval of the Warkworth Extension Coal mine,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Mr Pepe Clarke said.

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Mountains residents rally to protect the Gardens of Stone

The fight to save the Gardens of Stone came to the streets of Springwood today when mountains residents rallied in the town square calling on the government to protect the area from coal mining once and for all.

The rally, organized by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Lithgow Environment Group and Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) was the final event in a week-long tour by senior NCC staff of iconic natural areas across the state that are being threatened by damaging coal mining and gas developments.

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MAP: Coal and coal seam gas expansion in NSW

View the NSW coal mining and coal seam gas expansion map here.

The coal mining and coal seam gas (CSG) industries in NSW are expanding at an unprecedented rate, threatening public health, clean air and water, productive farmlands and native wildlife.

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Community voice silenced in 80 per cent of development decisions

Local residents will be denied a say in 80 per cent of development decisions under sweeping planning reforms unveiled today by the state government, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

“This is the most significant backward step on public participation in more than a generation,” said Pepe Clarke, NCC Chief Executive Officer.

“Since the current planning legislationwas introduced in 1979, members of the community have had a right to comment on the large majority of development proposals.

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Lies, damned lies and economics - the true cost of mining and gas projects

Resource companies are routinely exaggerating the projected economic and employment benefits of coal mining and gas projects while downplaying the health and environmental costs, a new report has found.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW today released Economic assessment of environmentally damaging mining and gas developments in New South Wales, a report by Economists at Large and The Australia Institute that reveals the true cost of seven NSW mining and gas projects currently in the assessment pipeline.

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Community breathes easier as polluting coal terminal put on hold

Nature Conservation Council of NSW today welcomed the announcement by Port Waratah Coal Services yesterday [1] that it was putting on hold plans for a fourth coal export terminal at Newcastle.

NCC chief executive officer Pepe Clarke said the proposed fourth coal terminal, dubbed T4, had been the focus of a concerted campaign by local residents concerned about the impacts of coal dust on human health.

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Planning system must protect the environment, community participation

Meaningful public participation and strong environmental protections must be cornerstones of the new planning system in NSW, said two of the state’s leading environmental organisations today.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) and Total Environment Centre (TEC) have prepared a checklist (attached) they will use to assess whether the NSW Planning White Paper, due to be released soon, will protect the state’s clean air and water, native wildlife and communities.  In order to meet the community’s needs and expectations, the new system must:

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