The Rocky Hill Coal Mine is threatening the beautiful Gloucester Valley.
ROCKY HILL REJECTED
The Department of Planning has released its Assessment Report for the Rocky Hill Coal Project and recommends that the project not be approved!  

This is an historic decision because it is the first occasion that the Department of Planning has recommended that a proposed coal project not be approved.

The Department identified the project’s proximity to existing residential areas and its predicted visual amenity, noise, and air quality impacts as being significant factors in its assessment.

"In the Department’s view, the amended project is incompatibly located with respect to the southern fringes of the nearby urban area of Gloucester. The Department considers that the project site is not a suitable site for an open cut coal mine, due to:

• proposed land use conflicts with existing established land uses, in particular rural-residential and tourism land uses; and

• its incompatibility with the underlying aims and objectives of the strategic land use zonings of the Gloucester Local Environmental Plan to protect the scenic amenity of Gloucester township and the broader Gloucester Valley by retaining scenic and rural surroundings for the town.

The Council’s previous Administrator, Mr John Turner, summed up his view of the amended project as 'this coal mine proposal is simply in the wrong place' and is 'simply too close to residential areas'.

The Department shares Mr Turner’s views, which it would seem, are also held by the majority of residents of the former Gloucester LGA."

The full Assessment Report can be found here.
This is a great day for Gloucester and recognition should be given to all those who have shed blood, sweat and tears over the past ten years to ensure that this mine did not proceed.

But this is not the end of the road.  The matter has been referred to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for final decision.  The PAC held a public meeting in Gloucester over two days on 14 and 15 November 2017 to receive comments from the public to help inform its views.  Groundswell Gloucester’s submission to the PAC can be found here.  All submissions made have been placed on the PAC’s website which can be found here.

After the PAC meeting, GRL was reported as saying that it would continue fighting to have the Rocky Hill coal mine approved.  Groundswell Gloucester responded by issuing a Media Release which can be found
here.

It is not known when the PAC’s decision will be announced.
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If approved the Rocky Hill Coal Mine will extend mining in the valley for decades.

Schools and hundreds of homes are within the 5km health danger zone of the project’s first stage. Future expansion could be as close as 1km from the built up area of Gloucester.

The source of health and environmental problems will be closer to people and the risks will last longer than the Stratford mine.

In a world of oversupply and industry decline due to energy competition why should another coal mine be imposed on the rural community of Gloucester?
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