Greens NSW Senator and forests spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said that approval for a five kilometre wide open cut coalmine in north-western NSW involving the destruction of more than 1000 hectares of native forest highlights the failure of the federal government to assist local communities working to protect the local environment and farmland.
"While the NSW government is responsible for giving the final go ahead to the Boggabri coalmine Environment Minister Tony Burke failed to thoroughly investigate the damage to the environment which could have made a difference to approval being granted," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Minister Burke under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act chose to investigate only the plan to expand Boggabri coalmine. This meant no study was undertaken of the impact of continuing with current coalmining plans which will have the greatest impact on the critically endangered Box-Gum woodland.
"It is irresponsible of the Minister to investigate one part of one coalmine when four coalmines are planned for the foothills of Mount Kaputar, about 50 kilometres east of Narrabri.
"No approvals should be considered until a cumulative impact study is undertaken of all these mine plans, which cover the habitat of many threatened and endangered plant and animal species including the koala.
"The NSW Nature Conservation Council have identified that the Boggabri mine will produce 16.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of ten per cent of all greenhouse gases emitted annually throughout NSW.
"The Greens policy is for no new coalmines or extensions of existing coalmines," Senator Rhiannon said.