Coal mine fears increase on Central Coast

 A recent meeting between Wallarah 2 and its backer Korean Resources (KoRes) with the Wyong Shire Council has left the local mayor reportedly ‘uneasy’.

It comes as the miner provided an application briefing to the council last week, according to Lakes Mail.

"Their attitude was very cocky and it was as if they knew something that the council did not," local mayor Bob Graham said.

"Maybe they know something that I don’t."

This meeting is the latest time the two groups have butted heads, after they accused each other of failing to communicate.

At the time Kerry Heywood, Wallarah’s general manager, stated the council had not responded to the company’s offer to meet,

It came after mayor Bob Graham told the ABC the only response the council had from the miner was via the media.

Heywood said that when he met with the council’s general manager last November and offered to brief its members on the miner’s plans he was told the council was informed and should only be contacted when new information surfaced.

He went on to say that he contacted it again in January and earlier this month to put forth another meeting, only to receive no response.

Heywood said that he later heard on the radio that the council had asked for a full briefing.

"I certainly do not wish to create any ill feeling about this," Heywood stated in a letter to Graham last week.

"I am pleased that council wishes to have a briefing and look forward to that opportunity, however it is very disappointing to be painted as uncommunicative when this is simply not the fact."

Wyong councillors have recently pushed for the mine to be banned altogether.

The Council will ask the State Government to pass legislation to protect its valleys from mining.

The main concern of the council is over the potential damage the mine may have on the local water catchment area.

"Public concern has been on our effect on the water catchment, but the project and planning commission said in its report that there will be a minimal impact to the region’s water, but opponents to the mine keep saying it will have a devastating impact,"Heywood told Australian Mining.

"This isn’t the case…we don’t operate under water, our operations are only under a very small area of the catchment and won’t have a serious impact on the water supply.

"Even if there is an impact, it is only likely to be between five and 14 per cent," Heywood added.

"A minimal amount."

However, this minimal amount is raising serious concerns from the council.

Wyong Shire mayor Bob Graham told Australian Mining that "this mine is operating under the catchment for the whole area, which provides water for around 300 000 residents.

"KoRes tell us that the mine won’t affect the region’s water, but I don’t believe it. They claim it but they have never been able to prove it to me."

 

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