Commissioners need to rethink mine approvals
Another coal company has been yet again caught out on projected job numbers to, in my mind, simply fool some in the community to support the politically charged 'jobs' mantra.
When I attended the February Vickery mine hearings in Gunnedah, community members spoke to the risks to agriculture, water and the community's well-being.
A small number of individuals spoke to the benefits of jobs this new mine could bring. There seemed to be no other benefits listed.
Individuals and experts responding to the company's Environmental Impact Statement raised questions about the industry-wide introduction of automated vehicles.
In response Whitehaven rejected this concept outright saying: "Whitehaven has no current plans for the project to include an automated fleet".
However last month in an address to shareholders, Whitehaven's CEO took a different position.
He said "success of an autonomous rollout at Maules Creek [mine] will be instrumental in lowering costs at Vickery given the proportion of its total costs that's going to be spent in moving dirt." (As reported in the Financial Review)
The community cannot expect to be across all of the company's statements.
How many other statements have been made to the shareholders that are different to what we are told locally?
The commissioners responsible for considering approval of the mine must surely heed this and reject the application.
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