An environmental theory was used to block a $2 billion coal mine in Central New South Wales, forcing the Asia-backed proponent to take hundreds of jobs elsewhere.
The New South Wales Independent Planning Commission (IPC) cited climate change as a top reason for rejecting the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO’s) Bylong Valley Coal Mine, 209 km northwest of Newcastle.
In handing down its decision IPC claimed the Korean government-backed project would emit greenhouse gases and cost future generations and referred to a recent statement from Chief Judge Brian Preston.
“The exploitation and burning of a new fossil fuel reserve, which will increase greenhouse gas emissions, cannot assist in achieving the rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gases that are needed,” IPC said according to the Climate Council, which has fiercely opposed the mine.
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The council welcomed the decision, saying “coal is the new asbestos”.
“Nobody should touch it,” Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said in a public statement.
She also warned mining proponents to beware as more legal action will be on the way.
“We can expect to see more and more polluting fossil fuel companies face climate litigation,” McKenzie said.
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650 jobs gone
The Battle for Bylong community group also celebrated the victory.
“We did, you did, the team did it,” the group said on Facebook. “KEPCO got kicked back to Korea, IPC said no.”
The rejection means 650 jobs that were promised as a result of the mine will be created elsewhere.
The Climate Council earlier this year supported a NSW Land and Environment Court decision to reject Gloucester Resources’ $224.5M Rocky Hill Coal Project, 100km north of Newcastle.