On September 11, the Mudgee District Environment Group (MDEG) denounced the NSW Labor government's approval of the Moolarben coalmine, 40 kilometres north-east of Mudgee on the Goulburn River, as "a reckless act that shows no regard for our environment, viability of our rivers and water resources, cohesion of our rural communities or global warming".
"The community has had 20 years experience of the NSW government varying conditions of consent and pollution licences to meet the needs of the Ulan Coal operation. This mine diverted over 3km of the Goulburn River and destroyed groundwater systems that feed the river", stated MDEG spokesperson Bev Smiles.
The Moolarben mine, Smiles said, "will produce 10 million tonnes of new coal every year for 21 years. Add that to the 9.5 million tonnes from the Wilpinjong mine and the 5.4 million tonnes from Ulan, and the Mudgee area will be responsible for a major increase in climate changing greenhouse gases.
"The loss of water and good farming country because of the Moolarben mine approval is a further death knell to the Goulburn River and the agricultural industry in the region. The predicted return of El Nino conditions to western NSW is the price we are all paying for coal industry profits."