In our last communication we told you that, soon after his visit to the Hunter Valley on 1 June , Planning Minister Rob Stokes indicated that he might put out an amended draft mining SEPP as soon as possible, and he would expect the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to take it into account when it came to deciding the fate of Bulga, under threat from a proposed expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth Mine. We asked you to send letters to Stokes, urging him to act quickly, before the PAC decision was made.
If that review were to re-instate equal consideration of social and environmental impacts with economic ones, as required by the previous SEPP, it would clearly offer hope for Bulga. Indeed it is their only hope, the only means by which the community’s values can be taken into account. Very importantly, it would also be hugely significant for other proposed mining developments in NSW.
Well, it’s happened! On 7 July the Sydney Morning Herald, under the by-line “Mining rule change gives hope to communities” said that Planning Minister Stokes would release that day a proposed amendment to the Mining SEPP removing the provision that made the economic significance of the resource “the principal consideration when determining projects”. He said the draft amendment reflects a requirement for lawmakers to consider the likely environmental and social, as well as economic, impacts of any mining development.
However, the proposed amendment is still only a draft.
The Minister is now under fierce attack from the mining industry for daring to bring some balance back to decisions about coal mines in New South Wales.
If the proposed amendment is to survive, it will need all the support from the public it can get.
The Nature Conservation Council, of which Grandparents for Generational Equity is an associate member, has put out a quick email submission which can be sent in support of the proposed amendment to the SEPP. As submissions close on 21 July, we thought this would be the best way to ask you to help.
You can also write your own submission if you wish. A submission is just a letter expressing your thoughts and feelings about an issue, and a personal one may be more powerful than a form email.
Planning Assessment Commission
GPO Box 3415
Sydney NSW 2001
Click to read our Latest News – Grandparents for Generational Equity represented at the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) meeting on Rio Tinto’s Warkworth Mine expansion at Bulga