Environment Minister Tony Burke's approval of the extension to the Springvale longwall mine, with its clear threats to the areas sandstone landscape and ecosystem, on the day the CSIRO's State of the Environment Report forecasts worsening global warming suggests a government blind to evidence of environmental damage caused by coal mining, says Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
"Minister Burke has thumbed his nose at evidence of the threats to this unique area from long wall mining," said Senator Rhiannon who is due to visit the site next week said.
"No buffer zones or set of conditions imposed by Minister Burke can protect this unique and sensitive natural environment. This extension should not go ahead.
"Already mining by Springvale Colliery have dried and damaged hanging swamps, caused cracking and subsidence, cliff falls, drained streams and polluted waterways.
"Springvale has a reputation for refusing to address complaints or instigate additional monitoring and the NSW government has been a good friend in letting breaches go unsanctioned.
"Research conducted by my office in NSW Parliament showed that in 2010 Springvale was responsible for the worst performing coal mine in the state, with a record 833 incidents of non-compliance with their Environmental Pollution Licence (EPL) since 2000.
"This wondrous natural environment should be preserved not corrupted by growing mining operations," Senator Rhiannon said.