Anti-mining protesters greet NSW Premier at Tamworth Airport

NSW Premier Mike Baird was confronted by anti-mining protesters when he landed in Tamworth this morning.

Baird was in the north-west of the state to announce a drought support package for the region.

Accompanied by Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson, Baird shook hands with several of the activists as he made his way out of the airport.

The Caroona Coal Action group presented a letter to the Premier with a list of their concerns and asked him to listen to what the community wants.

“I do listen,” Baird responded.

This week, spokesman of Caroona Coal Action Group Tim Duddy accused PAC of signing the “death warrant” for Liverpool Plains after granting approval to Shenhua’s Watermark coal mine.

It is also fighting BHP’s application to build the Caroona mine in the Gunnedah region.

Both projects lie near the highly fertile Liverpool Plains, raising concerns around the impact to water and farming in the region.

Duddy has said his group will seek to appeal the approval of Watermark coal mine.

NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simson also said the approval was disappointing.

“I think it's a huge blow for agriculture and a huge blow for the Liverpool Plains," Simson said.

"This highly productive region had been mapped as being highly productive, but now a new open cut mine is going to be placed right in the guts of it.

"It's very hard for the community to have much faith that in this particularly unique special region, where there are some very complicated aquifer and soil structures, that a mine only 150 metres from a floodplain would have no impact."

Image: The Northern Daily Leader

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