Concerns have been raised by the Senate over the potential damage to farmland and water tables from proposed coal mining in the Liverpool Floodplains of New South Wales .
A senate committee has publically stated that it believes that prime agricultural land needs to be protected from mining developments.
In particular, the committee focused on the mining proposals from BHP Billiton, Shenhua Watermark and Santos, and the “potential for these developments to adversely impact on agricultural activities in the area.”
Local action groups and Greens MP Lee Rhiannon have also called for the NSW Government to scrap these mining plans, Rhiannon saying “at a time when climate change has the potential to disrupt farming practices the Labor government should be working to safeguard all agricultural land.”
The Australian Conservation Foundation has also raised concerns regarding the environmental impacts of coal mining on the area.
However, BHP has stated that it will undertake any long wall mining under the flood plains themselves, or conduct open cut mining.
These environmental concerns follow the Queensland Government’s recent steps forward with its Land Access Strategy, which is focused on mediating the problematic relationship between farmers and miners.
The NSW Government has stated it will continue to investigate prohibition of mining under the Liverpool Floodplains.