Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Premier upholds pollution standards but will the new law reflect her views?

Environment groups welcomed Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s statement last night to uphold water pollution standards set by the Appeal Court of NSW. 

“The Premier’s statement[1] is currently at odds with the legislation[2] tabled yesterday. The legislation must be amended to do what the Premier requires it to do. The legislation allows on-going pollution of our drinking water catchments without requiring expansion of development to meet the water pollution test defined by the full bench of the Appeal Court,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.

“Premier Berejiklian views coincide with those of the Appeal Court. The schedule in the new legislation that weakens Neutral or Beneficial pollution standard should be dropped.  Our pollution laws must reflect continuous improvement to a high standard, otherwise drinking water quality will decline with expansion of existing development,” Mr Muir said.

“If Premier Berejillian misspoke, then what will the Premier do to save her credentials in the Gardens of Stone region where this problematic Springvale mine discharges 21.5 million litres of mine water each day into the Coxs River”, said Mr Muir.

Conservation groups have been campaigning for a State Conservation Area in the Gardens of Stone for many years and have repeatedly called for action on this reserve that offers a compromise with appropriately regulated coal mining.

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


[1] Extract last night story - NSW prepares to pass coalmine expansion

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has endorsed the environmental safeguards placed on the operation.

"The legislation will make sure that the water quality has to be at least as good as what was there before the mine so we're putting in stringent environmental safeguards, which is a plus for the community," Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.

"They have to meet those standards. That's what any operation, any person who undertakes mining activity has to meet with strict environmental conditions and if they don't well then they can't continue to operate."