Environment Minister, Tony Burke, has given conditional approval to the Maules Creek and Boggabri mine proposals, and the Gloucester coal seam methane gas project, subject to strict conditions and further work to minimise their potential environmental impacts.
Mr Burke said with the conditions in place and subject to further work being agreed, he is satisfied the projects can go ahead without unacceptable impacts on matters protected under national environmental law.
“In each of these three additional approvals there is more work to be concluded before the project can actually proceed,” Mr Burke said.
“As the conditions make clear where more work, new plans or further modelling needs to take place, then this must be carried out to my satisfaction.
“It has always been my preference to minimise the number of planning and modelling processes which have to continue after a decision has been made because I want companies to be able to determine whether or not a project will go ahead on the basis of the conditions they see in my decision.
“Unfortunately the decision of the New South Wales Government to leak commercially sensitive information has caused me to have to bring these decisions forward today with the remaining work to be resolved directly between the company and myself.
“The development of these further conditions will be conducted without reference to the NSW Government, which is unfortunate but a decision that they have effectively made for themselves.”
Mr Burke said he had considered advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining on the water-related impacts of the developments, as required by law.
The Maules Creek and Boggabri mine proposals have been conditionally approved subject to strict conditions.