Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Lithgow Mercury & Centennial Coal under fire

Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the Lithgow Mercury and Centennial Coal must publish apologies in the front part of the paper regarding remarks defaming his reputation for honesty.  “I would never deliberately mislead anyone, especially when presenting a case for the Colong Foundation to a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC)”, he said.

“Centennial Coal’s remarks in the Lithgow Mercury on September 5 are contradicted by its earlier actions regarding damage to Sunnyside East Swamp.  On 28 March 2014 Centennial Coal alerted the Federal Department of Environment regarding the sudden drop in water levels in this swamp[1]”, said Mr Muir.

“I am not aware of any evidence Centennial Coal has provided that the slumping damage to Sunnyside East Swamp I presented to the PAC occurred before mining.  Where is the photographic evidence regarding this slump being in the swamp before December 2013?,” Mr Muir asked.

“The Colong Foundation’s evidence of longwall mining damage to the swamp is supported by an expert opinion from swamp expert, Dr Ann Young.  Her submission to the PAC states that the data for Sunnyside East Swamp shows serious and continuing loss of water to the swamp after undermining,” he said.

“Groundwater levels in Sunnyside swamp dropped seven metres when longwall mining passed below it in December 2013”, Mr Muir said. 

“Further, the Mercury’s remarks on September 5 about my waterfall concerns are a beat up.  I made it clear to everyone at the PAC public hearing in May that the waterfall image displayed by me was not in the project area and the image had a grid reference on it so that it could be located on a map.  I believe another waterfall may be affected by Springvale’s mining proposals and wished to illustrate that point with a picture, and there’s nothing sinister in that intention.  I have provided to the second review PAC a draft consent condition that seeks protect that waterfall from damage”. 

“To allege that I gave “deliberately misleading” evidence to the PAC is untrue and damaging to my reputation.  I demand an apology for the harm to my reputation,” Mr Muir said.

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


[1] Springvale Coal, Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone Monitoring and Management Plan LW 415 to 417 Annual Report Springvale Mine March 2015, Page 64.