Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Planning Assessment Commission needs to reject Coalpac, a corporate failure

Gardens of Stone Alliance 
Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Lithgow Environment Group

The Department of Planning & Environment recently recommended approval of Coalpac’s modified open-cut coalmine at Cullen Bullen. 

It rejected a larger proposal by the company in 2013.

Opponents of this mine have been surprised and dismayed by this recommendation, that will now go to a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for final determination.

Tara Cameron, spokesperson for the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, states, “Coalpac is now insolvent. It has demonstrated a very poor  record of corporate due diligence.

“If the government is endorsing Coalpac’s current proposal, then it is basically saying that mines should be approved irrespective of any corporate record and at any social or environmental cost.”

“This company has been shown to have deficient health assessments, deficient ecological assessments, deficient Aboriginal heritage assessments, deficient geological assessments. The  suggested economic benefits  have  been found to be rubbery by Independent economic analysis.

“What does it say about our governance structures if we endorse such behaviour?”

Recently Coalpac claimed that Aboriginal hand stencils found in the area of its mining lease were not authentic.

However review by a number of independent archaeologists, including those of the Office of the Environment and Heritage, found these assertions to be inaccurate. The sites were genuine.

“Coalpac’s corporate behaviour has been abysmal”, says Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“What is left that is credible with this insolvent company and it proposed mining operations?

“What does it say about our public assessment processes when such a deficient mining applicant is endorsed by the authorities?”

“We need the Planning Assessment Commission to be able to objectively assess this mine and its history, and not bow to government pressure to authorise it.”

Media Contacts for Gardens of Stone Alliance
Tara Cameron: 0419 824 974. Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Keith Muir: 0412 791 404. Colong Foundation for Wilderness