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Hume Coal will not appeal NSW Land Court ruling

Hume Coal has announced they will not appeal ruling by NSW Land and Environment Court blocking land access.

The mining company announced last week they have ruled out seeking leave to appeal the May 10 decision by Chief Justice Brian Preston based on Section 31 of the Mining Act 1992.

Project director Greig Duncan said that land access for exploration and mining companies has been an ongoing issue in NSW for decades.

“It’s now a matter of urgency and up to the State Government to take this issue seriously and implement changes to the legislation which clarify the rights of landowners, explorers and ultimately investors in NSW,” he said.

Mr Duncan said an appeal of Chief Justice Preston’s ruling would be futile. He said the s31 Appeal Decision did not even address an earlier decision by Sheahan J in Hume Coal Pty Limited v Alexander (No 3) [2013] NSW LEC 58 that is clearly inconsistent with the s31 Appeal Decision, leaving the NSW mining law jurisprudence in disarray.

In 2014, Bret Walker SC was commissioned by the NSW Government to undertake a review on the land access. Walker SC came up with 32 recommendations, of which several pertained to ‘significant improvements’.

Mr Duncan said the ball is now in the State Government’s court, and if government are looking for investment in NSW to continue, they must address the legislation with a matter of urgency.

While Hume Coal was disappointed by the decision, the progress of the Environmental Impact Statement is continuing, with the aim of submitting to the government later this year.

Hume Coal is continuing to seek approval of the project which will provide 300 permanent jobs, boost the local economy and benefit the state of NSW.

“We will ensure our proposed development is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, and provides much needed economic growth for the region” he said.

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