Gloucester community gets mine update

Gloucester residents will get an update from Gloucester Council on what is happening to mining in the shire in a community meeting tonight.

The council will also use the meeting to determine community sentiment on the industry and its impacts, the ABC reports.

Director of Planning and Environment Graham Gardner said the council has been working to deal with two new coal proposals and the AGL coal seam gas development.

He said another working group has been created.

“We have established an extractive industries working group and we’re looking to produce a strategy for extractive industries in the Gloucester Valley,” he said.

“We’ve also sought to have the comprehensive water study that the community has been looking for and hasn’t really had that much success in gaining over many years now.”

The decision to renew two large mining licenses near Gloucester has met with opposition, with Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham saying it is disgraceful.

He said he wants a Royal Commission to examine the mining act.

“Every time we look at the creation and granting of these licenses there’s a stink,” he said.

“”We believe that is evident from the ICAC inquiry into the Bylong and Jerrys Plain licenses. We believe that the Gloucester licenses certainly need to be look at as with licenses that were granted by disgraced former minister Ian Macdonald.”

AGL Energy’s Gloucester Gas project was approved by the federal government in February, a project that included AGL drilling up to 110 coal seam gas wells and approval for fracking and the construction of a pipeline from Gloucester to Hexam. 

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