There appears to be no end to the relentless expansion of coal mining in our area. As reported in Mudgee Guardian (Tuesday, November 7), Peabody Energy has lodged an application for the release of a new exploration area over 16, 760 ha of farmland to the east of Wollar.
While Peabody continues to beat up the jobs in mining, they are piloting driver-less machinery at the Wilpinjong Mine. This means less jobs while the environmental and social destruction continues.
Meanwhile, the Yancoal Moolarben Mine has its fourteenth modification in 10 years on public exhibition. The new underground mine was predicted to be a dry mine in the ‘rigorous’ assessment. It is now drawing down 5 million litres of water a day.
This water is coming from the springs and groundwater above the mine with a major impact on the landscape and the Goulburn River.
The Wilpinjong and Moolarben Mines have inflicted significant and long-term detrimental damage to the local environment and surrounding communities.
We also now know that Glencore, the owner operator of the Ulan Mine, is not paying their fair share of tax in Australia. The financial benefits of mining are being enjoyed offshore, not here where the damage is permanent.
The Mudgee economy may be reaping the short term benefits of coal mining in the region.
However, the long term loss of farm land, rural communities, water sources, threatened species and Aboriginal cultural heritage while increasing carbon emissions is a price too high to pay.
Bev Smiles, Wollar