Cut Mine for Blackalls Park?
|Mr JEFF HUNTER (Member
for Lake Macquarie) [6.05 p.m.]: Over the past few months I have been working
closely with two community groups, No Open Cut Mine For Awaba [NOCMFA] and
Southlake Communities Against the Mine [SCAM] in the fight to stop Centennial
Coal proceeding with its proposed Awaba open cut mine. Today is the second
occasion I have spoken on this issue in the House. The first occasion was
on 1 March this year and, since then, over a number of sitting days, I have
also presented petitions opposing the mine for tabling in the House. In
fact, today I presented a petition with numerous pages. So far in excess
of 3,000 people have signed the petition, indicating their opposition to
this proposed open-cut mine.
The petition against Centennial Coal's open-cut plan has been widely distributed throughout Lake Macquarie by the anti-mine protest group SCAM and was presented to me last week at my electorate office by SCAM representatives Sally Birch and Dianne Sykes. The petition will be forwarded to the Minister for Planning by the Parliament. The petition states:
The petition of residents and supporters of the Electorate of Lake Macquarie NSW brings to the attention of the House the community's vehement objection to the approval of Centennial Coal Company Limited's Newstan-Awaba Mines Extension proposal to extract remnant coal to the west of the existing Awaba Underground Mine by open cut mining methods. The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to direct the Department of Planning not to grant approval to any proposal that allows open cut mining in the area.
This petition will make the Government further aware of the community's strong opposition to this proposed open cut mine and how the local residents want to see the Government reject the proposal. I take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has not already signed the petition to do so. Copies of the petition are available at my electorate office or on the SCAM web site at www.scam.com.au. When attending a local protest meeting at Morisset High School held by SCAM, I picked up one of their documents. It says:
Stop the open-cut mine!!! It will happen if we don't stop it NOW
The ONLY way we can win this fight is by community action - all 75,000 of us living within 10km of the mine working together!
Fact: The mine will
produce dust which can carry over 10km. Exposure to dust can cause and
worsen respiratory problems.
"Projected Dust Fallout Zones"
Dust monitoring by
the University of Newcastle* in the upper Hunter found that the larger
dust particles (PM10) deposit up to 3.5 km radius from open cut coal mining
operations and that the finer, more readily inhaled particles (PM2.5)
travelled much further.
Within the 3.5 kilometre
zone are the following:
In the 3.5 to 5 kilometre zones are the following: Avondale College, Avondale Community Preschool, Blackalls Park Playgroup, Blackalls Park Preschool, Blackalls Park Public School, Cooranbong Community Playgroup, Dora Creek Playgroup, Lake Macquarie Christian College, Dora Creek Public School, Eraring Public School, Fassifern Public School, Kilaben Bay St Josephs Primary School, Myuna Bay and Point Wollstonecraft sport and recreation facilities, St Paul Booragul, Toronto Baptist Playtime, Toronto Community Child Care Centre, Toronto Community Preschool, Toronto High School, Toronto Multipurpose Neighbourhood Centre and Toronto Public School. Of course, there is a larger group within the 5-kilometre to 10-kilometre zone. I am working with the local community. NOCMFA, SCAM and URGE [United Residents Group for the Environment of Lake Macquarie] in opposing the mine. I will further raise issues concerning the proposed mine in the House when it resumes in May.