Shenhua barrier removed
Earlier this week Liverpool Plains farmers learnt the sobering news that just before Christmas 2018 and prior to the March 2019 NSW general election, the NSW Government secretly provided consent to Shenhua Watermark Coal to undertake a number of preliminary pre-construction works which to many would seem like:
a) Without providing any of the important scientifically proven hydrological studies about how the mine won’t impact groundwater aquifers;
b) No referencing to the Independent Planning Commission; and the NSW University scientifically proven analysis of the Werris Creek Mine proven yet dismissed by a previous inept NSW state government under Premier Baird
c) An imminent issuing of an extractive licence is fait accompli.
The NSW Coalition government has abandoned the Liverpool Plains farming communities and agricultural industries underpinning employment in our great Australian food bowl. This is a vital component of the fragile 9% of prime agricultural land in Australia that underpins our agricultural exports and keeps rural communities vibrant whether they be in drought or no drought.
Our NSW state representatives are simply fence-sitters who have shown little regard for the greater Liverpool Plains underground water systems, whether in Breeza or Watermark, Gunnedah, the Namoi River areas or any other Plains community.
I challenge our current agriculture minister Niall Blair in the company of Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson to visit the greater Liverpool Plains food bowl to bring comfort and consolation to agricultural farming communities under the radar of Shenhua Watermark Coal, which has continually disrupted Liverpool Plains for ten long years. Alternatively they could come to a Breeza Hall meeting chaired by me and meet with the community they have abandoned.
Independent candidate for Tamworth
It is a real shame that Mike Foley did not check with the state government before being held captive of a totally incorrect story from Lock the Gate.
At least NBN News did do its checking and found that the story was a beat-up.
I know that the development approval document is complex but if Mr Foley could not read and interpret it correctly then he should have checked.
The changes to the DA only fixed up incorrect dates that were hard wired instead of related to the project start time.
Second, the state government changes gave a more detailed definition of the words development, construction and pre-construction and added work to be done by Shenhua by requiring an extra management plan for pre-construction work.
No requirements were removed.
There was no approval against conditions in the consent.
There is no impact or appeals to be made in relation to the federal approval.
It is most disappointing to me that the Tamworth and Gunnedah papers blindly followed Mr Foley’s folly and took no steps to check the validity of the Lock the Gate claim.