New South Wales
I am 5th generation of a farming family which has resided and worked in the Upper Hunter for more than 100 years. I have relatives who live in close proximity to Mangoola Coal Mine and I strongly oppose this project. The cumulative issue of mines in the Hunter Valley poses a very tangible threat to its agricultural and tourism industries - both of which are long term, sustainable and environmentally-friendly. The Upper Hunter in particular boasts strong tourism drawings to regions such as Glenbawn Dam, the Barrington Tops and the numerous bush walks around the region. The continuous expansion of open cut coal mines could turn the Upper Hunter into a barren landscape similar to that around Singleton and the army base.
The issues/impacts supporting my opposition to this project include:
1. Environmental - this project will increase the significant negative impacts mining is already having on our local environment. With reference to the Rocky Hill decision by Chief Justice Preston, now is the time that rapid and deep decreases in emissions are needed to ensure climate targets can be met. Additional mining is not needed and is considered a tipping point in terms of long term negative impacts on our environment.
2. Air Quality - the Upper Hunter currently experiences regular air quality exceedances. The valley's airshed is already overburdened by existing mining operations with cumulative impacts including increased incidence of respiratory disease. We do not need or want to be increasing the footprint of existing mining operations. This will only lead to greater air quality issues and exceedances, putting our communities and their health at even greater risk; and further threatening our other sustainable agricultural industries.
3. Noise - increased noise pollution due to increased size of mining operations, increased number of machinery movements and proximity to residences
4. Social/Community - the project will directly impact the health, wellbeing and spirit of the local community due to the to air quality, noise, visual, and financial impacts (related to decreased land values).
5. Land Values - local land values will decline if the project proceeds and some landholders may be unable to sell their properties at all. Any potential buyers will be unwilling to be subjected to the numerous negative impacts of the project and will therefore seek properties elsewhere.
6. Future Sustainable Industries - any further mining projects in the area increase the already excessive cumulative impacts of existing mining operations and threaten the future of other sustainable industries in the area such as agriculture, thoroughbreds and wine. We want to ensure the Hunter Valley is preserved for the future of these industries with a clean, green, pristine environment to ensure their certainty. This project greatly threatens the environment with the many negative impacts on the landscape, air and water resources.