Drayton South’s final rejection by planning commission

14/01/2019 Posted by admin

ALL IN VAIN: Drayton South has again had its consent refused by the Planning Assessment Commission.THE NSW Planning Assessment Commission has again refused consent to the Drayton South Coal Project, saying it considers it “not in the public interest”.

The decision has beenwelcomed by the thoroughbred stud industry and by environmentalists but will disappoint the coal industry, its employees and its supporters.

The PAC said coal company Anglo American had sought consent to extract 74.9 million tonnes of coal over 15 years, employing 500 mineworkers directly and supporting the indirect employment of another 980 people more during the life of the mine.

Although the commission recognised the financial contribution of the coal industry to the state economy, it said “a unique sent of circumstances does exist due to the proximity between the project and the thoroughbred operations of Coolmore and Godolphin” horse studs.

Although Anglo American said Drayton South could be developed without impacting on either stud, the commission said there would be “key effects” on its neighbours from “air quality, blast noise and reputation”.

The commission noted that mining and equine operations were “co-existing at this current point in time” but it believed the proximity of Drayton South would “tip this relationship out of balance to the detriment, and ultimate decline of the internationally recognised Hunter Valley equine critical industry cluster”.

The Newcastle Herald is seeking comment from Anglo American but the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association welcomed the decision, saying it vindicated its opposition to the project from the start.

The breeders’ association is also calling on a Bickham style permanent stay on Drayton South by having the NSW government enact a site-specific State Environmental Planning Policy or SEPP on the area to permanently prohibit open-cut coalmining.

Bickham was a mine proposed for a riverside site near Scone that was rejected in 2010 and permanently stayed using a SEPP.

Read the full story in Friday’s Newcastle Herald.

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