The state government’s handling of environmental damage caused by mining giant Glencore is being called into question as an independent MP demands an inquiry.
Mining conglomerate Glencore last month received a notice to clean up a huge cement spill at the Sugarloaf State Conservation area in the New South Wales lower Hunter.
Glencore is working to fix the damage caused by the spill which happened in June when the company was carrying our remediation of mine subsidence harm.
The ABC reports a bungled clean up effort earlier this year resulted in cement grout flooding a creek bed as well as the disintegration of cliff faces and large cracks emerging in the ground.
Destruction was found over more than two kilometres within the conservation vicinity near the mine’s Longwall 41.
Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said the lack of transparency is unacceptable.
"It would be a great initiative from the government to actually refer it to an inquiry rather than to have this part of a political process and be forced upon them," he said.
"Let's have some transparency around this, and send it off and have a good look at just what the chain of events were, where the failures were, where things can be done better."
Piper said this event demonstrates why regulation of the mining sector shouldn’t be reduced.
Adding he is concerned mining was approved despite warnings from government agencies about potential subsidence problems, the ABC reports.
"How can it be in this environment where the industry is complaining about being over-regulated and the state government is now seeming to move to accommodate the industry with a variation to the state mining SEPP that actually places the economic issues ahead of all the other issues?
"This is a real worry for the community and it really does need to be addressed."