Because more than 25 submissions objecting to the proposal were received, the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) must now hold a public hearing into the project and determine Hume Coal’s development application.

The terms of reference require that the Commission:

- Consider the EIS, all 12,666 submissions received, any relevant expert advice, and other relevant information
- Assess the merits of the project, paying particular attention to:
+ impacts on surface water and groundwater resources, including on private bores
+ social and economic impacts
+ suitability of the site
- Prepare a report summarising the Commission’s actions, findings and recommendations

The Commission must hold hearings as soon as practicable and then submit its report on the public hearing to the Department of Planning & Environment within 8 weeks of those hearings.

Once the Department receives the Commission’s report, it will finalise its assessment of the project and refer the application back to the Commission for determination. 
Independent Planning Commission Hearings 

The IPC hearings took place over two days in February 2019.

Nearly 90% of speakers were opposed to the project. Compelling presentations were given by the president of B4B, B4B’s commissioned expert Jason Perica, Dr Ian Wright and Coal Free Southern Highlands.


For more information regarding the hearings, visit the IPC website here.

What happens now?
The IPC now has 8 weeks to consider the Department of Planning & Environment’s report as well as the content of the Moss Vale hearings. It is entitled to request an extension, if needed, from the Minister for Planning.

Following the completion of its deliberations, it will hand its findings and recommendations back to the Department of Planning & Environment, which then has an unspecified period of time to consider the IPC’s comments.

The Department then hands its updated Assessment Report back to the IPC for a final determination.