More than 100 people attended Groundswell Gloucester community meeting held to provide an update about the Rocky Hill Coal Mine appeal.
Groundswell is a respondent to the merit appeal brought by Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) to the Land and Environment Court. Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), which is representing Groundswell, addressed the community explaining the process of the review during the meeting held at the Gloucester Soldiers Club on May 23.
Basically, in a merit review the court will stand in the shoes of the original decision maker, in this case the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) as they review the application but it’s not bound by the PAC’s previous decision which rejected the application in December 2017. The court will then make its own decision on the application.
The court will have the original material, however anyone wishing to be heard by the court can register an expression of interest directly with the Department of Planning and Environment. Objectors have until June 30 to register via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be heard in either Sydney or Gloucester.
The EDO said it’s likely the court will attend Gloucester for a site inspection during the proceedings.
In April, the court agreed to allow Groundswell to be a respondent in the appeal as well as introduce new information regarding climate science and social impact.
GRL has been joined by Stratford Coal Pty Ltd in the appeal, as the application included the modification to the Stratford Extension Project incorporating a new haul road and the receipt, processing and railing of coal from the Rocky Hill mine. This application was also refused.
Groundswell needs to raise $35,000 to assist with covering the cost of legal fees. For information on how to donate visit http://www.groundswellgloucester.com/.
The case has been listed for hearing in the Land and Environment Court from August 13 to 31, 2018.