Duralie Coal Expansion Courtcase

Social, legal and health issues related to unrestrained expansion of coal mines in Australia.

Duralie Coal Expansion Courtcase

Postby HVPA_research » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:53 am

You might be interested in some background to a recent court case against Duralie Coal in the Gloucester area ...

One of the sad things in all of this, is people are moved off their property, out of their community, towns and villages and these places shrink smaller and smaller. Once that happens, like our environment being destroyed, they are gone for good and you can't get that back.

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: [rivers-sos] ICAG Inc. advertisement in Gloucester Advocate - Wednesday 30th November 2011

Hello all,

Please find attached our advertisement for ICAG Inc., which was on page 6 of the Gloucester Advocate Wednesday 30th November 2011.

While stopping Duralie coal mine was 'a long shot', they have been awarded Conditions by Judge Preston of the Land & Environment Court and that would be annoying them we hope. The No Direct Discharge Condition has been reinstated (stopping Duralie Coal from directly discharging into Mammy Johnsons River), though Judge Preston did not stop them discharging into Unnamed Creek which he could have done, which flows directly into Mammy Johnsons River, Karuah River to Port Stephens. He could NOT however stop the discharge into Coalshaft Creek (as it was under a previous approval and could not be re-opened which he mentioned numerous times). Judge Preston & Co. fails to want to recognise discharging into Creeks is water pollution and River discharge.

Media started calling me from Thursday morning Judgement Day. I was contacted from the Newcastle Herald and two radio stations. I stated I had not sighted the Court documentation and could not really make many comments on the Conditions (though the "No Direct Discharge Condition" had been reinstated). I did mention also that the outcome (of Duralie Coal continuing) was not surprising considering in my opinion the Land and Environment Court is not there for the environment. I was asked if we believed it was worth taking to Court and I said yes as it put a record down that "we the people object to this approval", mentioning there were wins for environment & people than open ended etc (Newcastle Herald printed my comment about the Land & Environment Court), which was fine by me. Unauthorised media releases were done in the Gloucester Advocate & emails/websites advising the outcome of the Court case, without ICAG Inc. knowledge or approval.

There were 140 pages of Court documentation to read through. It was important to read this document as quickly as we could to scan for errors. Our legal team, JCCC and ICAG Inc. picked up the same error in the Court Documentation last Thursday of a Condition missing. Although this Condition had been mentioned by Judge Preston in his documentation, and therefore needs to be placed upon Duralie Coal. While this Condition does not really assist the environment fully. This Condition on principle needs to be implemented by Judge Preston onto Duralie Coal. A letter was written by Elaine to all parties explaining the error on Friday & ICAG Inc./JCCC are waiting confirmation from the EDO Solicitor Elaine; when this Condition has been finalised.

ICAG Inc. believes that the Court case was worth perusing and would like to thank Jenny Thomson of Johnsons Creek Conservation Committee for her tireless efforts before, during and after the Court hearing, and the efforts of Jenny and others in JCCC and other individuals/groups & the NSW Farmers Stroud Branch that have worked to protect this valley and Mammy Johnsons River, Karuah River to Port Stephens 18 years in March 2012. Thank you to our legal team of EDO Solicitors Elaine Johnson & Co., our Barrister Ashley Stafford and all our Experts. Without these peoples assistance, help and support, including other groups and individuals, this Court case 'putting a human face for/on behalf of the environment & giving people in this valley and down river a voice' could not have happened.

Any conditions reinstated against Duralie Coal is a win for the environment & 'people power'. Conditions regarding people is also a win and we look forward to 'pushing the envelope' with property owners to the mining company & Government Departments. ICAG Inc. will continue to work with property owners affected by Gloucester Coal/ Duralie Coal and Stratford Coal.

Some of the property owners that assisted us during the Court Case have had their properties purchased when the attention of their personal stories went to Judge Preston directly we believe. ICAG is pleased and very privileged in being able to assist these people that have suffered for a very long time from these coal mines, and in speaking of their personal health affects/injuries from Gloucester Coal and assisting ICAG Inc., some of these people were contacted very quickly from Gloucester Coal, when their documents came to Judge Preston. It means these people finally will be out of 'their personal nightmare'. While sadly for others their personal nightmare from Duralie Coal and Stratford Coal continues.

One of the sad things in all of this, is people are moved off their property, out of their community, towns and villages and these places shrink smaller and smaller. Once that happens, like our environment being destroyed, they are gone for good and you can't get that back.

To anyone around in the valley on Saturday, there is an Auction at Wards River Station property (South of Wards River Township). Duralie Coal has purchased this property and for weeks and weeks now has been drilling the land and around the Unnamed Creek and dam area. So many drills and so many holes. You can see the edge of the open cut removing the mountain range (the bushland we all tried to prevent being destroyed - stand at the gate and look right). Judge Preston could have stopped Duralie Coal entirely, he didn't. Duralie Coal have been busy patching and removing all traces of equipment and filling in holes on Wards River Station, we believe until after the Auction. Wards River Station recently had Wisemantle signs erected on either side, denoting the Wisemantles pit which Duralie Coal/Gloucester Coal have adopted an actual family name of the valley for their coal mine as other mining companies are doing in our valley in the Gloucester Shire.

We believe Duralie Coal has 'sunk to an all time low', drilling the Wards River Station Property while the property owner is still living there, shows no respect for the environment and people that live or lived here by Gloucester Coal or other mining companies.

Kind regards to all
Amanda Albury
Ironstone Community Action Group Inc.

Posts: 588
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:26 pm

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