PAC holding final meeting on Shenhua’s Watermark Coal project

The Planning Assessment Commission will meet in Gunnedah on Thursday to hear final submissions on Shenhua’s Watermark Coal project.

It comes after the NSW Department of Planning and Environment recommended approval of the project last month subject to strict conditions and stringent monitoring.

The open-cut coal project, located 25 km south-east of Gunnedah, will produce 10 million tonnes of coal per annum if approved, and employ more than 600 people.

PAC’s three-person panel has said it will hand down a decision about the project no later than January 20.

The project has come under intense scrutiny from some local farmers in the region who are concerned over water and environmental impacts.

One farmer has warned of protests if the mine gains approval.

Another local farmer and outspoken critic of the mine Tim Duddy said opponents of the project believe they have a strong case for PAC.

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