Mine protest targets Watermark coal project

Over 100 people marched down the main street of Gunnedah yesterday in protest of Shenhua’s Watermark Coal project.

The Planning Assessment Commission gave final approval for the project in late January, and Shenhua hopes to start construction during 2015-16.

The open-cut coal project, located near the Liverpool Plains, plans to produce 10 million tonnes of coal per annum for 30 years, and has come under intense scrutiny from some local farmers in the region who are concerned over water and agricultural impacts.

The Caroona Coal Action Group is seeking to appeal the approval.

Spokesperson for the group, Tim Duddy has accused PAC of signing the “death warrant” for the Liverpool plains.

Yesterday, local farmer Peta Craig said she was devastated PAC gave the mine the green light, and  urged the Federal Government to halt the project.

“We are hopeful sanity will prevail,” Craig said.

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