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Update: adverse judgement for Springvale coal mine

Published by
World Coal,

Centennial Coal has consistently maintained that all issues were appropriately addressed during a protracted and exhaustive State and Federal assessment process to secure Springvale Mine’s consent in late 2015.

Unfortunately, the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal that the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) applied the wrong test in determining whether the proposed development would have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality (the NorBE test) in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment may result in Springvale’s consent being declared invalid.

“While the Court’s decision is obviously disappointing, we have prepared for this outcome. A range of options have been identified and we will now proceed to implement these options to seek to ensure Springvale can continue operating without disruption”, stated Katie Brassil, Centennial Coal’s Executive GM External Affairs.

In December 2015, 4Nature Inc., represented by the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), filed a Summons (Judicial Review) in the Land and Environment Court (LEC), seeking to challenge Springvale’s (October 2015) State significant development consent granted by the PAC.

The grounds for the review were about whether the PAC complied with clause 10(1) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011, which required it to be satisfied that the proposed development would have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality (the NorBE test) in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment.

In September 2016, the LEC rejected 4Nature Inc's legal challenge and dismissed its proceedings. This decision confirmed the ability of the Springvale mine (an existing mine) to continue to operate.

In October 2016, 4Nature Inc. launched an appeal with the NSW Court of Appeal from the LEC’s (September 2016) judgment that validated Springvale’s consent.

“Our immediate focus will be ensuring Springvale can continue to operate, thereby securing the livelihood of our local community while also continuing to meet the State’s electricity needs”, Brassil concluded.

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