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Coal jobs, millions in wages against ‘inexperienced’ wineries and cow paddocks: Southern Highlands coal mine decision looms

Coal jobs, millions in wages against ‘inexperienced’ wineries and cow paddocks: Southern Highlands coal mine decision looms

After first being proposed bigger than a decade ago a decision is anticipated within weeks on a new underground coal mine at Berrima in Contemporary South Wales Southern Highlands after a chorus of toughen for the recommendation to refuse consent.

Key points:

  • The NSW Division of Planning instructed the project be rejected in June 
  • Better than 60 of the 80 of us who addressed the Independent Planning Fee this week expressed opposition to the mine
  • A decision by the IPC is anticipated within weeks

The South Korean-owned company Hume Coal needs to provide a new mine and associated rail links approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Sydney and 7 km northwest of Moss Vale.

Early Newspaper

It hopes to extract as much as 3.5 million tonnes each year of coal — about 55 per cent coking and 45 per cent thermal coal.

It proposes using a ‘pine feather’ manner of extraction, which has now not previously been broken-down in NSW or Australia.

The proponent explained the “pine feather” as extraction using a system of continuous miners and conveyor belts in a horizontal layout that’s corresponding to the branches and pine needles on a younger pine tree.

In June, the Division of Planning, Industry and Atmosphere (DPIE) instructed the project be rejected citing loads of concerns including the impact on groundwater.

Map showing hundreds of ground water bores around the proposed mine.

Groundwater bores identified at some stage in the proposed Hume Coal project in the Southern Highlands.(

Supplied: Hume Coal


The NSW Independent Planning Fee (IPC) this week held two days of public hearings into the project with almost 60 of the larger than 80 submissions supporting the recommendation to reject the mine.

The Division’s Director of Handy resource Review, Steve O’Donoghue stated groundwater remained the main peril.

“Essentially the most foremost aquifer that will be impacted by the project is the Hawkesbury sandstone groundwater aquifer with some 363 registered water offer bores within in 9 kilometres of the project,” Mr O’Donoghue stated.

“Pressure decline or drawdown exceeding the 2-metre minimal impact consideration is anticipated on as much as 118 registered privately owned bores,” he stated.

Mr O’Donoghue stated overall the damaging impacts of the project outweigh any advantages.

“The division has carried out a triple bottom line review and while the division acknowledges the industrial advantages that would also merely arise, we don’t think about they outweigh the large environmental and social impacts,” he stated.

‘Welcome to my world’

Jane Lawler lives in Medway and informed the IPC her family’s house is supreme 750 metres from the proposed project.

She turned into emotional while giving evidence as she explained the impact the proposal has had on her family for a decade.

“We shall be in a position to gape the towering stockpiles from our kitchen living room window instantly south at a distance of 750 metres,” Ms Lawler stated.

“For the closing ten years, now we gain lived with the stress and stress of decision making with out certainty.

“It is soul-destroying,” she stated.

‘Taint’ gorgeous inexperienced repute

Brigid Kennedy from Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce informed the inquiry the dwelling has 16 wineries and almost a third would be impacted.

“We also gain 300 registered with the ATO red meat producers in our dwelling, when we lose our bore water that can mean those areas will turn into unproductive,” she stated.

Meals scientist, Raymond Frost stated the project posed a risk to the dwelling’s introduction of a registered trademark ‘highlands providore’.

“Any aspect of contamination or impact on health and wellness to this picturesque dwelling whether thru dust or affiliated with water contamination concerns or other risks stemming from railing coal to ports.

The Interim Administrator of Wingecarribee Shire, Viv Might per chance per chance well merely stated the project had caused great anguish to contributors of the neighborhood.

“The Hume Coal project is already having a bodily and mental toll on residents of the shire.

Road sign on a farm called Evandale Road

Evandale Farm the keep apart the mine shall be constructed(

ABC News: Phillipa McDonald


$1 billion in local wages

Andy Davey from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union informed the hearing the project would be a ‘sport changer’ for the dwelling creating 400 jobs building and 300 during operation.

“Hume Coal is devoted to training and recruiting local workers with operational workers required to are living in Southern Highlands,” he stated.

Mr Davey stated because it extracted from the Wongawilli seam it will offer crucial high quality coking coal to the Port Kembla Blue Scope steelworks.

Hume Coal Project Manager Rod Doyle stated the project used to be charge a ‘foremost’ capital investment of $500 million and would generate $200 million in royalties for the narrate.

Mr Doyle stated the impact on bores used to be field to a “bit of an exaggeration” by the division.

He also disputed the division’s description of the mine as a ‘greenfields’ initiatives. 

“My private opinion … this house has been entirely denuded of its original flowers and fauna.

He informed the IPC panel to approve the project.

“The Project has very sincere environmental conventions, sincere economics with foremost economic lope with the whisk-on advantages.

“Commissioners I commend this narrate-foremost project to you and stay up for your decision … no stress nonetheless 100’s of jobs depend on you,” he stated.

Additional written submissions also will be made on the project till July 23, the IPC, a decision also can then be made as soon as a fortnight after.

Coal jobs, millions in wages against ‘inexperienced’ wineries and cow paddocks: Southern Highlands coal mine decision looms