“Positive step” for 500 jobs as Dept of Planning recommends Drayton South approval

July 21, 2014

Anglo American’s Drayton South extension is being referred to the Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision on whether the project proceeds, after the Department of Planning and Environment advised that the project could be approved with strict environmental conditions.
 
After consideration of recent changes made to the mine plan and the mitigation and management of impacts proposed by Anglo, Planning and Environment concluded that:

“the Department is satisfied that the benefits of the project would outweigh its costs, and believes that the retracted mine plan strikes an appropriate balance between protecting the interests of the horse studs and realising the significant economic benefits that would flow to the region and the State if the project is allowed to proceed.”
 
The Drayton coal mine has been a part of the Hunter Valley for more than 30 years. The proposed Drayton South project will extend the mine life, keeping 500 mining jobs in the community and supporting local Hunter businesses.

i-support-ds.jpg

Pictured: Local residents and mine workers, who have rallied together in support of the Drayton South extension.
 
The revised mine plan responds to local resident’s concerns, including a smaller overall mining area which will sit discreetly behind the natural landscape and won’t be visible to nearby neighbours including horse breeding operations.
 
In the Planning and Environment report, confidence was given in planned mitigation and offset strategies to be put in place, stating “the assessment had found that biodiversity, heritage, land, water, economic and would be suitably mitigated and/or offset”.
 
Anglo American has recently moved operations at its Drayton mine from seven days to a five-day-a-week operation in response to the length of time it is taking to come to a final decision on the the project. 
 
Drayton South Project Director Rick Fairhurst said now that the report was finalised, he urged the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to give the 500 employees whose jobs are at risk some certainty on their future.
 
“The release of the report is a positive step forward for our employees, the local community and the 140 local businesses depending on Drayton South for their livelihoods,” Mr Fairhurst said.
 
If approved by the Planning Assessment Commission, the Drayton South extension will deliver $35 million in State Government Royalties each year, spend $70 million a year with local businesses and secure 500 mining jobs, providing peace of mind for the Drayton mine’s workforce and their families whose futures all hang in the balance.

The public hearing will be held at Denman Memorial Hall on Thursday 21st August 2014, starting at 9.30 AM. More information can be found on the Planning Assessment Commission's website.

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