Oct 23 2014
Media Release 23.10.2014
Maules Creek Winter Clearing Case continues
The proceedings scheduled for Friday 11th of Oct 2014 in the Land and Environment Court have been held over to the 29th of October to set a hearing date.
The case was brought by local community group the Maules Creek Community Council in relation to consultation and planning approval processes associated with changes to Biodiversity Management Plans for the controversial Whitehaven Coal Mine in Leard State Forest near Narrabri in NW NSW.
The disputed Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) was submitted by Whitehaven Coal to clear large sections of the Leard State Forest outside previously approved times threatening endangered fauna species that was hibernating or breeding in the forest.
“There is no need for these changes” said Maules Creek Community Council spokesperson Phil Laird.
“Whitehaven Coal have indicated that their opencut coal project is on schedule and we have no idea why they have sought these changes as the public is getting mixed messages.
“We believe media statements made by the company completely contradict its need for the revised plan and we are calling on Planning Minister Prue Goward to reject the new clearing timetable put before her department.
“The community and the environment must rely on these approvals and so should the company.
“The corrosive effect of this mine on politics and public administration in NSW has added up to numerous corruption allegations, inquiries and court convictions. In the end someone needs to hold the line and it shouldn’t be up to everyday people to enforce planning approvals to protect the environment when a company changes its mind.
Record of Whitehaven spokesperson interview attached. (http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/local/newengland/201408/r1316658_18175559.mp3 – 5 Min)
On the 15th August 2014, Whitehaven CEO, Paul Flynn on ABC radio stated:
Kelly Fuller, ABC: Where’s the project up to now Paul, on your time scale, on your time frame?
Paul Flynn, Whitehaven Coal: It’s about um, it’s about 50% complete, so we’ve certainly said that first coal railed will be about March of 15 and we see ourselves well on track to achieve that.
Kelly Fuller, ABC: What’s the impact of stopping the winter clearing having on the project?
Paul Flynn, Whitehaven Coal: Ah nothing significant at all, no, we were ahead of our schedule, so we’ve well and truly covered ourselves in terms of being able to continue with the sequence of mining that we planned to deliver in March.