A burgeoning koala habitat is threatening to complicate plans for a thousand million-greenback coal mine on the Liverpool Plains in north-west NSW.
- Twenty-5 koalas had been mapped in an situation slated for a rail line
- Koala researchers speak this situation is now ‘core habitat’ and ought to no longer be destroyed
- Shenhua says it is consulting widely as it prepares a Koala Belief of Management
The Shenhua Watermark mine was first proposed in 2008, and the firm utilized to the NSW authorities for a mining licence final year.
However the no longer too prolonged within the past launched minutes of a assembly of the challenge’s Koala Technical Working Neighborhood sign plans for an associated rail line may perchance well attach an enviornment koala inhabitants in threat.
Dr Valentina Mella from the University of Sydney is an adviser on the committee and told a July 2020 assembly that she had mapped 25 koalas within the Court Lane corridor, including four breeding females.
“She said that in response to the records she had mild over four years, Court Lane is a core habitat as outlined below SEPP 44 and ought to no longer be destroyed,” the minutes read.
However destruction of the Court Lane corridor for the rail line was accredited by the former Planning Assessment Price in 2015.
Safe below ‘strict stipulations’
In a observation, a Shenhua spokesperson did no longer commit that the firm would change its plans to back far from stressful the Court Lane corridor.
They said the firm was consulting a form of koala experts within the preparation of its Koala Belief of Management.
“This concept is aloof in pattern and when finished will be enviornment to approval by the Original South Wales Government,” the spokesperson said.
The Division of Planning, Substitute and Surroundings (DPIE) said the 2015 planning evaluate imposed strict stipulations on the firm, with an realizing that core koala habitat would be impacted.
A DPIE spokesperson said Shenhua was required “to set contemporary koala habitat corridors and offsets within the local and regional situation.”
However Lock the Gate’s George Woods said the landscape for koalas was very totally different now, when compared to 2015.
“Organising contemporary areas of habitat is a stout request set. We all know that koalas are in a heap of misfortune throughout the negate,” she said.
A 2020 NSW Parliamentary inquiry revealed koalas are seemingly to be extinct within the negate by 2050 with out pressing intervention.
Shenhua plans to extract about 10 million tonnes of coal from the mine, which would be shipped to China thru the port of Newcastle.