PAC, determined to approve Boggabri Coal Mine

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Dr Neil Sheppard and David Johnson commissioners on the final Planning Assessment Commission for the Boggabri Coal Mine has “determined to approve the project, subject to amended conditions”.  MCCC Media Release

Determination Report 

Conditions of approval  11 MB, 66 pages

Much of the determination report revolved around noise standards, dust standards and acquisition rights for affected parties.

The project conditions have been heavily modified from the original EA undertakings by the company and the requirements of the Department of Planning. The commission takes great pains to establish its reasoning for these conditions and at times  the commission seems to be admonishing the Department for its attempts to thwart the concerns of the community.

The MCCC is pleased that some of its concerns have been addressed and that the project outcomes will be improved.

However, there are still 2 major issues to be resolved and we are evaluating our options;

Firstly that the cumulative affects are yet to be assessed. There is certainty for the company but not for the community as a strategy for monitoring means that no one knows to what extent that they will be impacted. Farm and familiy plans may be put on hold as the only real option for those in the impact zone is acquisition. This is not good enough for those who have called Maules Creek home for a number of generations and whose options may be not realistically include acquisition.

Also the size and scope of the project and its impacts are unknown because the  project has been approved subject to a wide range of management reports, management strategies and adaptive management plans. The final project could be markedly different to what was placed on exhibition and there is no facility for the community to participate in the development of these plans.

For the Leard State Forest, the impact will be devastating and given the recent debate in farming circles regarding the Native Veg laws, it is inexplicable that this development was proposed in the first place.