Around 60 per cent of the more than 500 submissions which were received by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment regarding Whitehaven Coal’s proposed Vickery Coal Mine extension, were in favour of the project going ahead.
In a report released by the department on Friday, 574 submissions were made in response to the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS).
Nearly 35 per cent of the submissions received objected to expansion, while the remaining 5.2 per cent of submissions made comment about the project.
Included in the objections were concerns regarding the project’s proposed rail construction and long-term impact on surrounding farm land.
The Emerald Hill Progress Association raised their concerns via a submission.
“Our Progress Association represents a significant proportion of the northern Gunnedah district located between Gunnedah and Boggabri,” the submission reads.
“A majority of the residents are rural landholders involved in various agricultural food and fibre production.
“We feel that this coal mine expansion will have a massive detrimental impact on many facets of our region and our way of life.”
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Some of the issues they raised were about noise levels, flood mitigation and flow-on effects of agricultural production.
“The big picture is climate change having major impacts on the Southern Hemisphere especially Australia,” the submission reads.
“These impacts are measurable and certainly creating detrimental impacts on our capacity to produce.”
Whitehaven Coal CEO Paul Flynn said he was pleased to see community support for the project.
“It’s great that we've had such a strong show of support from the local community,” Mr Flynn said.
“It's recognition of the fact that the project offers real benefits to the local area and represents a modest, but very positive change to what has already been approved.
“We've been working closely with the local community to ensure we get this project right.
“The community's feedback has always been a critical part of this process and will continue to be.”
Mr Flynn said the company would work towards responding to the concerns raised during the submission process.
"There is still more to be done and we will now take the time to carefully respond to the submissions and each of the issues raised,” he said.
"There will be further opportunities for the community to comment on the Vickery Extension Project soon."