Scary Vision of the Future

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An artists impression by Kate Auld of the Leard State Forest with the three open cut coal mines in full operation.

From left to right Tarrawonga Coal Mine, Boggabri Coal Mine and Maules Creek Coal Mine.

The stark impression shows the devastation that is to come.

Since this mock up was put together a new expansion of the Tarrawonga mine (bottom left)  will take out the vegetation in the bottom central section.

This glimpse of the future shows the ridiculous nature of the multiple land use policy of the State Government and the lip service that it pays to environmental values.

As part of the consent conditions, the narrow strip of vegetation between the mines is proposed as a wildlife corridor that will “improve” biodiversity values by linking the Pilliga to the Nandewar Range.

Even the PAC identified that this strip of vegetation will quickly die out as it is isolated from normal surface water flows thereby reducing soil water availability. Noise from the machinery and dust laden foliage will be added problems for wildlife negotiating the corridor.

Yet the PAC accepted the view that this corridor will be affective. While a nice idea for decision makers, the notion that the wildlife corridor  will improve biodiversity values on the existing forest is plainly wrong.

Furthermore, once mining is complete, the huge pits left in the former mine sites post mining will fill with toxic coal seam water and likely poison all wildlife. There is no database of evidence that shows  any successful mine rehabilitation in the state of NSW or in our nation and it is very unlikely that the mine rehabilitation in the Leard Forest area will return the forest to its pre-mining state.

This fact is tacitly admitted by the PAC as it has approved all three mining projects without any mine rehabilitation plans being in place.