South Korean company KEPCO is proposing to open up a mine that would have drastic impacts on local agriculture and water and the iconic natural and cultural heritage of the region, including Aboriginal sacred sites.
Protesters rallied outside an October 7 NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) public hearing in Mudgee into plans to construct a huge new coalmine in the picturesque Bylong Valley, north-east of the regional town.
The Resources Regulator Lee Shearer revealed in a Budget Estimates hearing on September 1 that it is investigating whether Korean mining company KEPCO is fit and proper to hold a mining licence in New South Wales, after serious international fraud and corruption allegations against the company were made.
KEPCO is proposing to develop two open-cut coalmines in the beautiful Bylong Valley, about 55 km north-east of Mudgee in north-western NSW. The mine is expected to produce up to 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year for 25 years, commencing early next year.
Three protesters charged under a new section of the NSW Crimes Act have pleaded not guilty at a preliminary hearing in Mudgee on May 17.
The “Wollar Three” are challenging the draconian new law aimed at criminalising those who protest at coal and gas mine sites. If convicted they could face a maximum penalty of seven years’ jail.