Due to the exceptional and generous support of so many people to the very recent Groundswell fundraising campaign through our Groundswell Gloucester website and local events, we are delighted to update the amount needed to assist the NSW EDO with the rapidly approaching court case. With $31,000 previously donated and fundraised, we only need to raise a few more thousand to reach $45,000! What a fantastic result!
The Gloucester Valley
The pristine Gloucester Valley in regional NSW has flourishing agricultural, light industrial and tourism industries. Today, their future lies in growing these industries into sustainable development opportunities that will last generations.
Agriculture has been the beating heart of the local economy for generations and tourism is based on the small town atmosphere and it’s scenic beauty, which is also the gateway to the World Heritage listed Barrington Tops. Both are a favourite spot for many thousands of visitors yearly, and the Gloucester Valley is rightly called a ‘significant heritage landscape’ by the National Trust.
The future of the valley hangs in the balance
The future of the Gloucester Township hangs in the balance. Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) wants to build the Rocky Hill Mining Project. The 220 metre deep open cut pit and mine site covers environmental protection areas and agricultural land. It would operate just over 1km from family homes and farms with major social impacts such as air quality pollution, dust, noise, visual amenity and health impacts both physical and psychological. This proposal is untenable and unacceptable for over 3000 residents of the township and surrounds.
In December 2017 the NSW Planning Assessment Commission found the mine was not in the public interest because of its proximity to the town of Gloucester, the significant visual impact and because it directly contravened the area’s zoning plans.
The mining company (GRL) appealed to the Land and Environment Court (after the Planning Assessment Commission decision) against the NSW Minister for Planning.
There are two concurrent proceedings both against the NSW Minister for Planning, namely:
- a challenge by GRL against refusal of the development application for the Rocky Hill Coal Mine (Project): and
- a challenge by Stratford Coal Pty Ltd against refusal of the modification application for the Stratford Extension Project (Modification)
Both proceedings will be heard by the Court at the same time.
The Land and Environment Court agreed that community group Groundswell Gloucester are allowed to participate in legal proceedings which will determine the fate of the Rocky Hill Coal project, a greenfield open cut coal mine at Gloucester. Groundswell Gloucester has been joined as a party to both proceedings and is represented by the Environmental Defenders Office NSW. Groundswell has been permitted by the court to present expert evidence on the social impacts of the Project and the Modification and climate change.
We can protect the valley, but we need you
We’ve hired EDO NSW to represent us in court. As the best public interest lawyers in Australia, we want to enlist the help of experts to properly scrutinise this massive new mining project. But we don't have much time, and we can't afford to get expert advice without your help.
Specialist expertise would be valuable in assessing areas of the Rocky Hill mining plan including:
- Social Impacts
Without independent expert analysis the key information the government has available to rely on in its assessment of this mine is from the mining company itself.
As a small community we need your help to be able to afford to pay for expert analysis. Independent scrutiny of this proposed mine is vital. Can you help?