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Anti-coal petition triggers parliamentary debate

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World Coal,

A petition against the proposed Hume Coal project in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands has garnered enough support to trigger a New South Wales Parliamentary debate.

The Battle for Berrima petition was signed by over 16 000 people, well above the 10 000 limit required to prompt a debate in the state parliament. The petition was handed over to local MP Pru Goddard, who has committed to sponsoring the debate, last month.

“This is an incredible demonstration of the simple power of democracy and the right of all citizens to make their views known to their elected representatives,” said Battle for Berrima President, Jock Pharey.

Hume Coal criticised the petition of Goddard, who represents the constituency of Goulburn, for ignoring the statutory process for approving mining applications and showing “blatant disregard” for those who rely on mining for their livelihood.

“Hume is following the development approval process as established by the New South Wales government and expects that decisions regarding the proposal are based on fact, instead of rumour and hearsay,” said Greig Duncan, Hume Coal’s Project Director.

“It’s very disappointing in a time where there’s a shortage of jobs – and more job losses in the industry to come – that the member for Goulburn and other have decided instead to pander to small, vocal minority groups,” continued Duncan. “We have a strong presence in the local region and it is clear from our interaction with member of the community that there is considerable support for the project.”

The Hume Coal project includes a 3 million tpy underground coal mine, producing metallurgical and industrial coal. Hume is a subsidiary of POSCO Australia, which is wholly-owned by Korean steelmaker, POSCO.

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