Bulga association rejects Warkworth’s grounds for appeal

Bulga residents battling against the mining company in the NSW Court of Appeal snubbed the suggestion the court did not apply procedural fairness when it overturned the expansion of the Mount Thorley Warkworth mine

Warkworth Mining was “discontent” with a Land and Environment Court decision that prohibited extension of the Warkworth and Thorley Mine in April.

The company said Justice Brian Preston had not applied procedural fairness while examining background noise from the mine when he ruled against the mine extension after Bulga Milbordale Progress Association appealed.

The NSW Court threw out court approval for Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley mine in April this year.

Justice Preston said the association’s appeal should be upheld because of “the significant, diverse biological adversity, noise and dust and social impacts of the project”.

He said the effects “would exacerbate the sense of loss of place, and materially and adversely change the sense of community of the residents of Bulga and the surrounding countryside”.

Bulga residents battling against the mining company in the NSW Court of Appeal snubbed the suggestion Justice Preston did not apply procedural fairness.

The association told the Court of Appeal in a written submission the company went on a “multi-pronged attack” of the Land and Environment Court verdict that used “selective extraction of discrete facts” to lodge an appeal.

Planning minister Brad Hazzard also backed the company, the Newcastle Herald reported.

The association also rebuffed Hazzard’s argument Justice Preston had not taken into consideration the Planning Department director-general’s report.

The association also refused to accept 14 other points for appeal by Warkworth mining.

Neighbours of Mount Thorley-Warkworth mine said in April they would file a complaint with the NSW Ombudsman against the Department of Planning for not imposing noise and pollution consent requirements.

The NSW Government gave its support to Rio Tinto when it lodged an appeal against the overturning of the mine expansion.

The company criticised the overturn in May.

“The overturning of the decision followed a rigorous 3½ year government process, and the granting of approval by both state and Commonwealth environment departments,” Coal & Allied managing director Darren Yeates said.

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