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Mayor encourages community support for Springvale Mine Extension

The Mayor of Lithgow City Council is encouraging local residents to show its support for the application by Centennial Coal for the Springvale Mine Project Extension application currently before the Planning Assessment Commission with a hearing scheduled for 27 May 2015.

“We are all well aware of the difficult period that the Lithgow community has had in recent times with the economy tightening, world coal prices dropping and the loss of local jobs, including those from the recently closed Angus Place Mine” said Lithgow City Council Mayor, Councillor Maree Statham “Unfortunately we now face another very serious challenge where Centennial Coal is seeking to extend the life of the Springvale Mine by renewing its current planning consent.”

“The Springvale Mine employs in excess of 300 direct jobs, most of whom live in the Lithgow Local Government Area, added to this is the critical nature of Springvale Mine coal supply to Mt Piper Power Station” said Mayor Statham.

“This project means a lot to the people of the Lithgow region and I would implore residents to express their support for this project.”

“I appreciate that the application must go through the appropriate controls but with so many jobs under threat and a potential impact on the Mt Piper Power Station, I am extremely hopeful that both the State and the Federal processes can be dealt with as quickly as possible.”

“I have made representations to both the local members along these lines and about the PAC process.”

“The mine is vitally important to the Lithgow economy and any delays in the process may jeopardise many, if not hundreds, of direct jobs and many more indirectly” concluded Mayor Statham.

A PAC hearing has been scheduled to be held on 27 May 2015 to hear the application by Centennial Coal for the extension of the Springvale Mine. This will include public submissions and an opportunity will be provided for interested persons to speak. The PAC review process is expected to take 8-9 weeks.

When the PAC makes a final determination this triggers the EPBC process. This is a process under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Here there is a statutory 30 business days to complete the EPBC process. Additional information may evoke stop the clock provisions under this Act.

If the appropriate State and Federal approvals are not in place by mid-August Springvale will lose longwall mining continuity.

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  1. Peter Drinkall
    May 28, 2015 - 06:32 PM

    Re the Springvale PAC hearing held on 27 May, it was extremely disappointing that the Lithgow Council and the mining union representatives painted the choice before the PAC panel as either approve the proposal as is or damn Lithgow to economic ruin for the the sake of a few out-of-town greenies. Lithgow likes to be part of the Blue Mountains when it suits it to be part of the BMLO Tourism promotions, but not when the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and others suggest that some very manageable conditions be placed on the Springvale Extension proposal.

    What is Centennial’s problem. They are very keen to be good corporate citizens when it comes to bribing football clubs, kindergartens, festivals, etc., but when it comes to polluting our waterways they’re not prepared to spend money on cleaning up their act. The Coxs River should not be treated by Centennial as a drain! Even Energy Australia wants them to supply decent water to Mount Piper Power Station via its three impoundments.

    Suggestions to modify Springvales longwall plan so that upland swamps, pagodas and cliffs are less impacted make sense – why destroy what you can save while still making a living?

    If the state government is to get $200,000,000 in royalties can’t it and Centennial get together and build a reverse osmosis system to give unpolluted waterways to the residents of Lithgow and the visitors who come here for our water recreation opportunities. Currently, the mine water releases from Springvale Colliery are totally unacceptable. To increase them from 30ML a day to 50ML a day without proper treatment would be criminal. And in 13 years they close the mine and leave us with dead waterways! Not a real good deal.

    Lithgow is, I am afraid, viewed by many people in surrounding towns as totally uncaring of, and even aggressively anti – the environment. It’s very sad.

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