Gloucester residents and community groups, as well as, organisations outside the region had a chance to express views, either for or against, the proposed Rocky Hill Coal Mine in Gloucester.
Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) committee members, Lynelle Briggs (chair), John Hann and Peter Williams spent Tuesday evening (November 14) from 4pm until 7:30pm and Wednesday (November 15) morning from 9:30am until 12:30pm listening to the 56 different speakers.
Originally, PAC member Andrew Hutton was named as part of the committee when the letters were sent out to all those who input submission, however, according to Ms Briggs, after viewing the material in relation to Rocky Hill he declared a conflict of interest and was replaced by Peter Williams.
Prior to the public meetings, the committee had closed meetings with MidCoast Council and Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL), as well as a tour of the proposed mine site.
Around 250 people attended the first public meeting at the Gloucester Soldiers Club, while around 100 came the following morning.
On Tuesday evening, 31 people spoke, including representatives from Gloucester Knitting Nannas, Gloucester Business Chamber, Groundswell Gloucester, Manning Clean Water Action Group, Gloucester Environment Group and Advance Gloucester. The majority of speakers were against the approval of the mine, five speakers spoke in favour of the proposal and one was neutral.
On Wednesday, 25 speakers addressed the committee, including representatives from Doctors for the Environment Australia, Environmental Justice Australia, Lock the Gate Alliance, Tourism Advancing Gloucester, Purfleet Taree Local Aboriginal Council and Dairy Connect. Again the majority of speakers were against the proposal, with five speaking in favour.
Ms Briggs explained to the group that the committee may need to have additional meetings, which the minutes of which will be made public and that additional information may be requested during the decision process, however, the committee is looking to make a final decision “as soon as practical.”
To keep up to date with the process visit, www.pac.nsw.gov.au/projects/2017/10/rocky-hill-coal-project.