Court ruling on Mount Thorley Warkworth

April 07, 2014

The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the overturning of Rio Tinto’s planned Mount Thorley Warkworth modification embodies everything wrong with the NSW planning system.

“What kind of message does it send about investing in NSW when a project proponent can spend over three years in the planning system, receive approvals at every level, and then be overturned by a single judge in the Land and Environment Court a year later?,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said today.

“It’s little wonder that mining investment has halved in NSW over the last two years and continues to fall, contributing to the loss of over 2,000 mining jobs across the state,” he said.

“While the downturn in mining has statewide implications, its the mining regions of the Hunter and the Illawarra that are bearing the brunt of these job losses, with all their associated economic and social impacts.”

“The 1300 miners who work at this mine and their families deserve better than this, as do the many thousands more working in mining across NSW,” he said.

“It’s now absolutely critical that the new application is assessed in a timely manner, to secure the future of the Mount Thorley Warkworth mine and its 1300 workers.”

“Mining in NSW does have a strong future, with the potential to support thousands of jobs and foster future growth in the state economy. We have a world-class mining workforce, a long history of innovative and safe mining practices, and some of the best mineral deposits in the world.”

“What’s missing are the right policy settings from the NSW Government, including a planning system that provides certainty and consistency in its outcomes. On this front, the number one economic priority for the NSW government must be to fix the broken planning system.”

Contact: Chris Rath | crath@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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