A lobby group that advocates on behalf of large resources companies is waging war on anti mining activists.
The New South Wales Minerals Council is going public to demand urgent changes to the Premier State’s planning landscape to avoid more job losses to anti-mining activism.
1100 jobs lost
The group blames more than 1000 lost job opportunities on the Climate Council and others for forcing the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to use the theory of climate change to reject Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO’s) $2 billion Bylong Valley Coal Mine, 209 km northwest of Newcastle.
“This refusal has meant the loss of 1100 jobs for the local region and over $1B in investment to NSW, and yet the Minister [for Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes] seems happy to let these opportunities slip away,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said in a public statement.
‘Only gotten worse’
Galilee is also concerned about mixed messages the State Government is showing towards other resources projects. The council claims it repeatedly warned Stokes about the economic consequences of not approving the project but it seems the “problems have only gotten worse”.
“While the deputy premier and others in the NSW Government have shown strong support for mining projects and mining communities, the planning minister seems oblivious to the damage being done by the crisis in his planning system, especially in the regions,” he said. “These issues reached crisis point last week following the IPC’s decision to refuse consent for the Bylong project.”
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‘IPC chose to ignore’
The decision came despite widespread support from the regional towns of Kandos and Rylstone, local regional council, local MPs, State Department of Planning.
“Yet the IPC chose to ignore all this and refused the project, apparently giving greater weight to ‘cut-and-paste’ form letters from anti-mining activists from as far away as Sydney’s North Shore,” Galilee said. “The NSW Government needs to take back control of the planning system, the role of the IPC must change … projects should be assessed and determined against NSW Government policy within acceptable timeframes, or more jobs and investment will be lost.”
To help address this an advertising campaign will target print, radio and online advertising to expose what the council claims to be a “broken NSW planning system” that costs “jobs and investment”.