Rally for Bulga against open cut coal mining – 11:30 Wed 14 August

Meet outside the NSW Supreme Court, Queen’s Square – 184 Phillip St, Sydney, 11:30am Wed 14 August.

Residents, farmers, environmentalists and community groups will rally outside the NSW Supreme Court to support the people of Bulga (in the Hunter Valley) as they battle to save their town from open cut coal mining, & to oppose draconian new amendments to NSW mining regulations.

The O’Farrell Government has joined global mining giant Rio Tinto in a Supreme Court action to force an unwanted open cut coal mine onto the residents of Bulga. The Warkworth Extension proposal was rejected by a NSW court, which found that the impacts of the proposed mine far outweighed the economic benefits promised by the mining company. Now Rio Tinto and the NSW Government are dragging the Bulga residents’ group into the Supreme Court.

The proposed changes to the NSW Mining SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) will, if introduced, ensure that the assessment process gives overriding priority to the economic value and ill-defined significance of a resource. Other considerations, such as protecting environmental and social values, including water resources, human health, and the quality-of-life of those directly impacted will be heavily discounted. . The SEPP amendment will, if introduced, have far-reaching consequences for the the western Blue Mountains and the World Heritage Area.

Before gaining government, Barry O’Farrell promised to achieve a better balance between mining, agricultural, environmental and social interests. But the promises are largely in tatters as he fixes his blinkered gaze on the short-term dollar-driven interests of the mining industry. He was given a large majority at the election in order to fix the difficult issues; he has yet to justify it!

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