Gloucester Resources Limited to review Rocky Hill coal mine refusal

GRL's Brian Clifford with one his legal team, Patrick Holland before the public hearing began in Gloucester in August 2018.
GRL's Brian Clifford with one his legal team, Patrick Holland before the public hearing began in Gloucester in August 2018.

Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) is looking to review the court decision that has rejected the Rocky Hill mine proposal.

Although GRL chief operating officer Brian Clifford was unable to attend court because of prior out of state commitments, he said he was disappointed the court had refused the mining application.

Mr Clifford said GRL appealed the Department of Planning and Environments refusal of the project because the extensive environmental assessment over five years had concluded the project could proceed with conditions and met all non-discretionary criteria as set out by the NSW Government.

In the landmark decision, Chief Justice Brian Preston dismissed the appeal, stating that GRLs development application for the Rocky Hill Coal Project should be refused.

The mine will have significant adverse impacts on the visual amenity and rural and scenic character of the valley, significant adverse social impacts on the community and particular demographic groups in the area, and significant impacts on the existing, approved and likely preferred uses of land in the vicinity of the mine, Justice Preston stated in his report.

The construction and operation of the mine, and the transportation and combustion of the coal from the mine, will result in the emission of greenhouse gases, which will contribute to climate change.

The costs of this open cut coal mine, exploiting the coal resource at this location in a scenic valley close to town, exceed the benefits of the mine, which are primarily economic and social, the report said.

Gloucester Resources Limited will assess the implications of the courts decision and consider its next steps.

The Department of Planning, and the Planning Assessment Commission, both found the project met all non-discretionary criteria, and on this basis GRL felt compelled to pursue the project, Mr Clifford said.