Member for Wyong and NSW Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, Mr David Harris, has continued to add his support to the long-running community campaign to stop the Wallarah 2 coal mine.
Mr Harris addressed the latest Planning Assessment Commission hearing held at Wyong on Friday, November 3.
“The community has made their opposition to this proposal clear now for many years,” Mr Harris said.
“The Government has the power to stop this through legislation, but they continually vote against it,” he said.
“You shouldn’t have underground coal mines next to a water catchment, it’s that simple.”
Mr Harris said he told the crowded PAC hearing that the planning system was corrupt, that it was slanted in a way that all proposals were acceptable, and then sanitised to make them “look a bit better” to the general public.
Speaking after the hearing, he said the current NSW Government had “an addiction to coal mining” and that 96 per cent of applications were approved by the PAC.
“A licence to explore should not give you automatic right to mine what you find,” Mr Harris said.
“Kores was given an exploration licence under the Labor Government when two gentlemen, who are now guests of Her Majesty, worked out that they could make a lot of money for the government out of issuing licences.
“Once the exploration licence was granted, there was a nod and a wink to get approval.
“Rather than the miner needing to actively prove that they could access what they found in an environmentally sensitive way, the Government has been saying ‘how can we help you fellas’,” Mr Harris said.
“Most people are saying that using the precautionary principle, the PAC will have to say no to this mine.
“I said that this has to be treated as a special case, because it is in a designated water catchment area,” Mr Harris said.
Media statement, Nov 3
Interview, Nov 3
David Harris, Member for Wyong
Jackie Pearson, journalist