Climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle wants the proposal for the contentious Anvil Hill mine proposal to be assessed under Commonwealth law. Apart from its impact on species and ecosystems protected under the Commonwealth environment act, Rising Tide believes that the proposed mine would impact on World Heritage areas protected under the act.
The Anvil Hill coal mine in the Hunter Valley has been referred to the federal Department of the Environment and Heritage to decide whether the mine should be assessed under the Commonwealth environment act.
Steve Phillips from Rising Tide warned that approval of the mine would "contribute significantly to global climate change" through the combustion of up to 10 million tonnes of coal per year.
Climate change is a major threat to World Heritage areas including the Great Barrier Reef, the Blue Mountains, the wet tropics of north Queensland and Kakadu wetlands.
Rising Tide also wants Anvil Hill to be assessed conjointly with another mine proposal and the new coal loader at Newcastle.
"The Anvil Hill proposal is one part of a much larger project to double Newcastle's coal exports. Centennial Coal, proponents of the Anvil Hill mine, are also part of the consortium of coalmining companies proposing to build a third coal export terminal in Newcastle. Each member of the consortium has proposals for major new mines in NSW, and the companies have made it clear they regard the coal mines and the coal loader as the one project. If that is the case, why is each component of the Hunter coal expansion being assessed separately?", asked Phillips.