TAMWORTH’S state candidates have lined up to slam the governments latest Shenhua decision, however sitting Nationals MP Kevin Anderson has remained silent.
Just before Christmas, the NSW government quietly modify the development consent for the Liverpool Plains project, which allow the coal mining company to commence pre-construction works before it has submitted studies on the mine’s impacts on groundwater.
Mr Anderson has ignored calls from the community to comment on the situation, with his spokesperson telling The Leader the MP had nothing to add.
Independent candidate Mark Rodda called the decision “an act of bastardry” on the nearby farming communities.
“The fact that a mining applicant doesn’t have to demonstrate to the NSW people that their extractive industry won’t damage groundwater streams created over millions of years is alarming,” Cr Rodda said.
“We saw National Party MP’s crying crocodile tears for our farmers around our region over the impact of the drought back in July. Yet when they are presented with a mining proposal in conflict with farming they have abandoned community advocacy and our farmers.
“Where is our local MP in all this – evidently impotent – and you wonder what they stand for?”
Labor’s Stephen Mears said he’d already fielded several of calls from concerned locals, and was arranging to speak to community groups.
“People are up in arms,” he said.
“Labor’s position is that there should be no mining on the Liverpool Plains whatsoever.
“Mr Anderson is obviously the Member for Tamworth and if people have concerns, it would be a good time for him to meet with them and allay any fears they might have.”
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Jeff Bacon said he understood and shared the community’s frustration.
“If the process was out there in the open, we wouldn’t have this situation,” Mr Bacon said.
“At this point, it doesn’t pass the pub test, and if it doesn’t pass the pub test, there are always going to be question marks around the application if indeed it does get granted.”