Hunter Valley coal mine loses important court case

Photo by Peter Rae/AAP: Jubilant opponents of the mine after leaving court the decision was handed down decision

Contributed from New South Wales

Sometimes it is easy to feel that the battle to save the environment is going nowhere in the battle to reverse the looming global warming crisis. If we focus only on what the politicians are currently doing, it looks pretty bad.

But behind this, people are fighting battles on the ground and winning battles. Bigger numbers are on the move than ever before. A huge number of kids went on a school strike and marched in the streets last year. They will soon do this again.

A tide for change is building up.

Local battles are a big part of this movement.

One such case is the campaign that has just resulted in a landmark ruling by a New South Wales judge, over work on a Hunter Valley coal mine.

Local residents and their supporters have taken on the mine and the company behind it, Gloucester Resources (GRL) every step of the way. When it came to court, they packed the courtroom.

Justice Brian Preston turned down the company’s argument that the level of emissions is negligible and can be dealt with anyway and said;

“A consent authority cannot rationally approve a development that is likely to have some identified environmental impact on the theoretical possibility that the environmental impact will be mitigated or offset by some unspecified and uncertain action at some unspecified and uncertain tome in the suture.”

Justice Preston also pointed out the visual impact on the local community and the effect of noise and dust pollution.

The decision has set an important precedent that will have an impact on future cases within new South Wales, and it will have implications around Australia.

This outcome would not have come about, were it not for what people on the ground have been doing for years. This is their victory.

3 Comments on "Hunter Valley coal mine loses important court case"

  1. Your grandparents worked in those mines to raise you now you ungratefull barstards wont to close them down loss of jobs means less money for your town and you will be the first to complain for blackouts and higher power if it was good enough for your grandperents do you think you are better than them get your nose out off other business trying to keep a business going idiots I say

  2. Keith,
    I worked in the mining industry for 40 years and had to spend time on the grass to get air conditioning into mining equipment. I have seen pumes of dust heading for our township with scant disregard for the residents. I have seen the yellow dust from an overburden shot drifting over our minesite and the sickening repercussions of the people who inhaled the fumes.
    Don’t tell me to buckle down and shut up I will raise my voice and tell these company’s to stand up to their obligations

  3. Well, certainly there is a gross idiot making the above statement Keith. Certainly my oldies made a living in mines & other such polluting industries. certainly I worked in some of the areas thet did us all harm. Asbestos for instance. Today there is no excuse for this sort of dangerous and re coal, fossilised dying industry to be supported when it is economically a very bad risk, health wise an terrible risk, and for the future generations an absolute nightmare.
    It is time to get out of the mentality of the past, to learn & understand the emerging technologies that are already far ahead in so many ways. Far more employment is there than ever was in the past extractive industry. Mines employ comparatively few people nowadays, so much is mechanised. Further, global warming is well proven, it is the greatest threat that the people of the world face, the future generations especially.
    You sound like you are in your eighties like me, time you had a real good look at what is going on in this world, we owe it to our kids, grandkids & great-grandkids. Blinkers Off, go have a look. Good luck to you.

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