Coal mining and gas exclusion zones in Hunter Valley

State Planning Minister Tony Kelly will put forward coal and gas mining exclusion zones as part of Labor’s land use strategy.

Following a forum on land use in Singleton, Kelly says he will ask Premier Kristina Keneally to consider exclusion zones on coal mining in the Hunter region, according to the ABC.

Kelly believes that excluding areas from coal mining needs to be considered.

"For example, the vineyard area of Pokolbin that has been suggested, well obviously you would not jam an open cut coal mine right through the middle of that

"There could be some easy areas that you could exclude, there is going to be some difficult areas too that might be on the edge but that is the sort of thing we will be looking at," he said.

This comes after the Upper Hunter council called a meeting to discuss the complete banning of coal mining.

Upper Hunter councillor Pam Seecombe said “is it is time to have no coal mining, no coal seam gas mining in this shire.”

Kelly also used the forum to demand the New South Wales coalition complete its ongoing Coal and Gas Strategy discussions.

These coalition forums bring together a number of land users from mining interests to agricultural and environmental associations to develop a land use strategy.

Kelly made a commitment to create a draft strategy plan, and to hold discussions with communities and interest bodies.

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