Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Centennial Coal is causing unreasonable fear and worry

Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said “Centennial Coal is causing unreasonable worry and fear in the Lithgow community by creating the impression that the Springvale mine will close when that outcome is not on the cards.”  He was responding to the public meeting called by Lithgow City Council this morning.

“Springvale mine will not close for want of approvals.  Springvale might close for economic reasons, if Banpu, the Thai company that owns Centennial, considers there is no profit in running the mine,” Mr Muir said.

“The hysterical beat up over the development consent is unfair to those employed at the Springvale Mine and the Mt Piper Power Plant.  Centennial is creating unreasonable fears, and at the same time it does not want another public hearing on the Springvale mine extension proposal”, he said.

“Centennial’s application proposes undermining all 29 nationally endangered upland swamps.  This is bound to be seen as unreasonable by the Federal Environment Department who has required the company to pay $1.45 million in compensation for past swamp damage,” said Mr Muir.

“If I were Centennial I would have offered environmental protect zones around the swamps, rather than threatening to lock out my employees and blame my inadequate protection efforts on Governments state and federal”, Mr Muir said. 

“As I have also said several times, the mine effluent discharges from Springvale, both actual and proposed, are greater than what the Planning Assessment Commission reviewed, or said they reviewed in their report”, said Mr Muir.

“Taken at face value Centennial has a lot to explain.  Instead of being open, Centennial insists it will explain nothing and demands it be given approvals because it’s a big boy in Lithgow and used to getting what it wants.  This attitude won’t solve important environmental problems associated with this proposal”, Mr Muir said.

“Centennial will not get away with polluting the Coxs River and wrecking nationally endangered swamps quietly.  Centennial operates in an open democratic society and will get into more strife as the environmental issues that will be caused by this mine are elevated up the political food chain.  So be careful what you wish for Centennial”, Mr Muir said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)