A PUBLIC meeting in Lithgow has beenwarned that environmental lobbyists willstop at nothing to achieve their goals inshutting down the mining industry.
The extreme lobbyists, it was claimed,would pursue their own ideology with totaldisregard for the community at large or thepain inflicted.
The comments came during a communitymeeting at Club Lithgow on Friday tohear the latest developments in the longdelayed process of approval for theSpringvale Colliery extension project.
Three years of delays — much of thisblamed on environmental activists — hasmeant that around 300 Springvale workerswill be taking indefinite enforced leave fromthis week until the approvals are confirmed.
It was only on Friday after intense lobbying‘by the other side’ in support ofSpringvale that the first stage of the finalthree pronged process was approved.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said themining industry is being increasinglyattacked by various environmental groups.
“It is frustrating that the attacks usuallycome from well funded activists who will doall they can to stop this project,” he said.
“They will stop at nothing includingseeking legal injunctions.”
This has to be countered by confirmingthe importance of the mining industry tocommunities like Lithgow.
Lithgow Council is currently campaigningto have submissions on mining applicationsto be restricted to residents of the localgovernment areas affected.
In the Springvale case submission werereceived from Perth and even from overseas.
Mr Toole said he was totally opposed to asecond PAC hearing on the Springvale issue.
He said the Premier has instructed hisdepartments to ‘get moving’.
“There has been too much stuffingaround,” he said — a sentiment that attractedno disagreement.
Centennial’s Katie Brassil said it hadbeen 1030 days (‘and counting’) since theapplication was first submitted.
She said it was frustrating that very timeagreement was reached on some aspect‘they again shift the goal posts’.
Ms Brassil said that Centennial hasobtained legal advice that there could notbe any so called ‘merit appeal’ against thePAC approval.
She said it was now up to the PAC toexpedite its review of the amendments fromthe department of Environment andPlanning and Centennial was looking forwardto the PAC confirming its previous recommendationso the matter could go toCanberra for a final tick.
Ms Brassil said it was a distressing situationthat the prolonged delays meant theSpringvale workforce — with all of its personalfinancial obligations — will be out ofwork until approvals are confirmed.
She urged the community to ‘stay strongand look after each other’.
By Monday the fleeting optimism for abreakthrough had evaporated afterEnvironment Minister Rob Stokes instructedthe PAC to do it all again.
It was a turnaround that has bothstunned and angered the local community.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.