HUME COAL PROJECT DEFEATED - Impacts too great to be reasonably managed finds IPC - BATTLE WON!

31 AUGUST 2021

Battle for Berrima has welcomed the announcement by the Independent Planning Commission of NSW (IPC) that it has refused development consent for the Hume Coal Project in Berrima.

The IPC has concluded that the potential impacts of the proposed greenfield development “are too great to be reasonably managed, and the social risks to the community are high.” It further found that the associated Hume Coal and Berrima Rail Project does not achieve an appropriate balance between relevant environmental, economic and social considerations.”

‘It is without doubt an absolute victory for everybody in the Southern Highlands who opposed the project, and that’s the vast majority’ said Battle for Berrima president, Hugh Farrimond.

‘It is a testament to the commitment and sheer tenacity of Battle for Berrima, Coal Free Southern Highlands, and the thousands of Southern Highlands residents who have fought so hard against this proposal for nearly a decade.’

A whole-of-government assessment by the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment in June found the Project was not in the public interest and should be refused, however, the state significant development applications for the Project came to the Commission for determination because of strong opposition from Wingecarribee Shire Council and the local community.

The IPC, through two public processes met with the Applicant, Department, Wingecarribee Shire Council, Battle for Berrima, Coal Free Southern Highlands, independent experts in mining engineering and groundwater, and the Department’s water group (DPIE Water) as part of their determination process.

‘Throughout the past six years that Battle for Berrima has been fighting the proposal, we have continually highlighted concerns about the mine design; risks of subsidence; groundwater drawdown; risks to surface water, including to Sydney’s drinking water catchment area; impacts to local biodiversity; amenity impacts; adverse impacts to existing industries, including tourism and agriculture; and social impacts including ongoing stress and disharmony associated with the Project’ said Mr Farrimond.

‘We express our heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who joined this epic fight to help with fundraising, petition stands, trips to NSW Parliament, protests, information gathering, and research. Without their commitment and determination, we could not have achieved this outcome.’

The IPC ultimately decided that the impacts of the Project could not be reasonably and satisfactorily avoided, mitigated or managed through conditions.

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