March 2019 Newsletter & Thank you!
It has been a busy start to 2019!
Thank you very much for your ongoing support, donations, and for volunteering your time on the many petition stands, information booths, and more recently, the stands hosted in Berrima, Bowral and Bundanoon.
Your support enabled B4B to maximise the number of submissions to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC).
Over 3,300 submissions were sent in opposition to the Hume Coal project by the March 6 deadline.
Independent Planning Commission Hearings
As a result of B4B 2ST radio advertising, our social media, the weekly IPC submission booths, and our membership spreading the message, so many people applied to speak at the IPC hearings that it was necessary to extend the hearings to two days.
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. B4B president Michael Verberkt also attended a tour of the proposed Hume Coal operations area at Mereworth with the four IPC commissioners.
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.
We'll keep you informed
For now, the Hume Coal Project’s future is in the hands of the NSW Government planning process but B4B will monitor any developments and respond accordingly. We are encouraged by the strength and professionalism of the continued opposition to the proponent’s project and optimistic that the IPC will not seek to recommend the project’s approval with conditions.
Without doubt, your support of Battle for Berrima, no matter how great or small, has had a significant impact on the NSW Government’s awareness of the dangers of this project and we thank everybody for their encouragement, without which we could not have mounted such a comprehensive battle. Follow us on our website and Facebook page for updates.