The Independent Planning Commission's (IPC) rejection of the Bylong Coal Project is the subject of an advertising campaign by the NSW Minerals Council, calling for changes to the state's planning system.
In launching the campaign today, NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the decision was not taken lightly and comes after warnings to the Minister for Planning and others in the government about the risk to jobs and investment.
He cited the Bylong decision as the "crisis point".
"The development, near the regional towns of Kandos and Rylstone, received broad support from the local communities, the local regional council, and local MPs," he said.
"The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment recommended the project be approved and none of the 14 government agencies consulted on the project objected.
"Yet, the IPC chose to ignore all this and refused it, apparently giving greater weight to 'cut-and-paste' form letters from anti-mining activists from as far away as Sydney's North Shore.
"This refusal has meant the loss of 1100 jobs for the local region and more than a billion dollars in investment to NSW.
"But, the Minister seems happy to let these opportunities slip away."
Meanwhile, the Lock the Gate Alliance slammed the campaign, stating it was an insult to farmers.
"The NSW Minerals Council is out of touch with the priorities of drought-affected regions attempting to safeguard water resources," spokesperson Georgina Woods said.
"There's no future for regional NSW if we sacrifice precious water resources for the sake of a short-term mining grab.
"That's what the IPC understood: development must provide for future generations not short change them."
She was supported by Bylong Valley farmer Phillip Kennedy.
"It is obscene that the NSW Minerals Council is running a campaign like this during an intense drought, which doesn't look like ending any time soon," he said.
"There are whole towns running out of water.
"Feed is so scarce right now - we need to conserve the land and water we have so we can grow fodder.
"We cannot sustain both vitally important agriculture and a dirty great big coal mine.
"We've got the equivalent of a little bathtub in the Bylong Valley, not the Great Artesian Basin.
"The NSW Minerals Council has no idea.
"Bylong is a unique, small valley and it is ridiculous for anyone to think a mine won't impact the water and farmland here."