Gloucester residents prepare for Rocky Hill Land and Environment Court appeal

Appeal: A view of Gloucester Valley looking towards an area subject to the Rocky Hill coal mine proposal.
Appeal: A view of Gloucester Valley looking towards an area subject to the Rocky Hill coal mine proposal.

GROUNDSWELL Gloucester has accused Gloucester Resources of “an act of complete bastardry” after the mining company announced it will appeal refusal of its Rocky Hill coal mine.

The company will appeal to the Land and Environment Court after the NSW Planning Assessment Commission in December found the coking coal mine was not in the public interest because of its proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and because it directly contravened the area’s zoning plans.

Gloucester Resources propsed to mine two million tonnes of coking coal per year from three pits for 21 years, with royalties to NSW of more than $60 million and jobs for 60 people.

Groundswell Gloucester chair Julie Lyford said the group had been fighting the proposal for 12 years and the decision to appeal would “prolong the agony” of many people.

“While this announcement comes as no surprise, it demonstrates that Gloucester Resources and the mining sector are prepared to ride roughshod over small communities, irrespective of the wishes of the community,” Ms Lyford said.

“If Gloucester Resources thinks that Gloucester will take this lying down, then they are sorely mistaken.”

Lock the Gate condemned the appeal decision, saying the PAC made clear it refused the mine because of its unacceptable impacts on the town of Gloucester.

“The mine was refused permission because it was found to be incompatible with the tourism, residential and agricultural land use and character of the area around Gloucester. The decision report also noted the project had caused stress, angst and anxiety to the community,” Lock the Gate spokesperson Georgina Woods said.

“The system for assessing and deciding damaging coal mines in New South Wales is abysmal. The Rocky Hill coal mine proposal was unquestionably damaging to Gloucester’s future and was opposed by the local community,” she said.

Gloucester Resources was contacted for comment.

This story Gloucester Resources to appeal Rocky Hill mine refusal first appeared on Newcastle Herald.