Coal protests continue in the Southern Highlands

A group of protestors gathered outside Hume Coal’s Moss Vale office to remind the company the community is still opposed mining in the region.

Protest organisers said the group would return to the office in order to inform locals about their concerns over plans to develop a mine in the region, Southern Highlands News reported.

The move comes after an order by the NSW Land and Environment Court ordered the group to stop a blockade of a Carter’s Lane in Sutton Forest.

Supported by the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group, the group say they are concerned about the impacts of another coal mine in the area.

Early last month, Hume Coal were granted a three y ear lease to continue coal exploration in the area.

Hume Coal project manager Tim Rheinberger said the small protest was aimed at gaining media attention.

"The gathering outside the community office lasted no more than 25 minutes and at its peak included fewer than 10 people," he said.

Rheinberger said community towards any mining development had been mostly positive.

"We understand that there are many views about the Hume Coal Project and everyone has a right to have an opinion, however, I believe that there are many in the community that are supportive of the project and the opportunities that a future mine may bring.

"Interestingly while this group was outside the office, a local resident visited to discuss possible employment opportunities.

"I understand that the representatives of SHCAG are intending to come back. I hope they respect our staff and do not obstruct anyone wanting to come into the office."

Rheinberger said the company was committed to supporting the local community by using local contractors for its projects.

The company has previously stated that benefits to the community would include 500 temporary jobs, 300 permanent roles, and apprenticeship programs with local schools and TAFE.

Rheinberger said the company had already spent about $900,000 with local businesses.

Image: southernhighlandsnews.com.au

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