Hours before polling booths opened for the state elections, the NSW Land and Environment Court announced late on March 22 that it was dismissing an appeal by community group Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) against the re-elected Coalition government’s approval of the controversial Wallarah 2 coalmine on the Central Coast.
In response to the ruling, Environmental Defenders Office NSW (EDO NSW), which acted on behalf of ACA in the case, said: “The dismissal in this judicial review underlines the urgent need for law reform and clear need for stronger regulatory guidance regarding assessment of the climate change impacts of new coal mines.
“The ruling came a day after we published our report, Climate-ready planning laws for NSW – Rocky Hill and beyond, which argues that combating climate change should be at the heart of NSW planning laws, through setting targets and imposing duties on decision makers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“EDO NSW is concerned for our client and the community, who are devastated by the decision and the potential impact of the mine on their lives and livelihoods, especially in relation to flooding and impacts on local drinking water.
“Together with our client we are considering further options.”