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.