Open Cut Mine for Blackalls Park?
Where will you be when it all hits the fan?
Published in the interest of the community by webmaster: John Woods

  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 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.
*ACARP Research papers Nos. 12027 and 10035
In my previous speech I mentioned that some 28 to 29 primary and high schools were in the 10-kilometre radius. In fact, further research has shown that 31 schools are in the 10-kilometre radius of the proposed open-cut coalmine, as well as some 18 preschools, play groups, other community facilities and 75,000 people.
I point out that Awaba Public School is only about 750 metres away from the proposed mine

Within the 3.5 kilometre zone are the following:
Avondale High School, Avondale Primary School, Biraban Public School, Toronto Seventh Day Adventist School and Toronto West Winkie Tots.

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.

My View
(please consider it)

I live within the area defined as a dust fallout area.
I do not wish to exacerbate my Emphysema.

Yet I am mindful of the enormous debt that Australia is taking on and my responsibility as a citizen to balance the former against this fact.
Treasurer Wayne Swan has detailed the almost $80 billion turnaround in the nation's bottom line as he handed down his second Budget in Federal Parliament.

"This Budget is forged in the fire of the most challenging global economic conditions since the Great Depression," he said.

"It's a budget that supports jobs today by investing in the infrastructure we need for tomorrow."

More info on this mining project can be found at Centennial coal’s Olstan’s project

HERE: Olstan