Planning commission must reject proposed Bylong mine

Save Bylong from coal mining. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance

Protesters gathered outside the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) on July 16 to urge it and the Coalition state government to save the precious Bylong Valley, in Central West NSW, from a new thermal coalmine.

The IPC is due to make a decision on the future of South Korean company KEPCO’s Bylong mine proposal in the near future.

Bylong farmer Phil Kennedy said: “There are just so many reasons why this mine cannot go ahead.

“This valley is so gorgeous and so productive. It would be a crime to ruin it with a dangerous coalmine, putting water resources and the Growie River under strain.

“We help produce food and fibre for the rest of NSW in this valley — yet KEPCO and the department think a great dirty coalmine is a better use of this country.

“We are also producing hay in this valley for export to other farmers in NSW, even during this drought.

Rally organiser and Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Nic Clyde said: “We are demonstrating to let the IPC know that the Bylong Valley is too precious to be torn up for a dirty great coalmine.

“The Bylong mine would ravage high quality farmland and drain underground water aquifers in a previously unmined rural valley.

“The combined open cut and underground mine would produce 6.5 million tonnes of thermal coal for the export market, and would create more than five times the carbon emissions than the now scrapped Rocky Hill mine, which was rejected in the Land and Environment Court in February, in part due to the greenhouse gases it would produce.”

A copy of the Bylong Declaration, declaring “support for protecting the Bylong Valley from coalmining”, was presented to a representative of the IPC at the end of the rally.

[For more information on the campaign visit Lock the Gate.]