Confusion over coal trucks that could be back on Russell Vale's streets - Illawarra Greens

Confusion over coal trucks that could be back on Russell Vale's streets

However, residents did in fact have an issue with the project - which saw Wollongong Coal spending six months removing coal stockpiles.

Greens Wollongong City Councillor Cath Blakey also addressed the commission.

"This Russell Vale coal mine pit top is the closest mine to residential areas anywhere in Australia," Cr Blakey said. "There are significant adverse impacts when it comes to water, flooding, dust, noise and air pollution.There are outstanding financial liabilities for remediation work. For a company that has paid no tax since 2013, has $1 billion of debt, on balance of the benefits an the adverse impacts, this project is not in the public interest."

Read the article by Glenn Humphries in The Illawarra Mercury, 19 October 2020

And ABC News report: https://www.facebook.com/greenscath/videos/2523536744603431

Confusion over coal trucks that could be back on Russell Vale's streets

Confusion over coal trucks that could be back on Russell Vale's streets

However, residents did in fact have an issue with the project - which saw Wollongong Coal spending six months removing coal stockpiles.

Mr Lidbury addressed an Independent Planning Commission hearing on Monday over the proposal to expand Russell Vale colliery.

When asked about the issue of truck movements in the suburban streets around the mine, Mr Lidbury said they would adopt the same approach as for the stockpile removal.

"We didn't have any issues," Mr Lidbury told the commission.

"We took all the noise monitoring, we had a certain minimal amount of trucks that would turn up in the morning. The loading cycle was exactly the same.

"We didn't have any issues at all with that whole process."

However, last year residents did take issue with the process, claiming the truck movements were starting well in advance of the claimed 6am start times.

The Independent Planning Commission is conducting a two-day hearing into the proposed mine expansion, after Planning Minister Rob Stokes directed it to make a determination on the development application.

Initial plans to mine under the water catchment using the longwall mining methods were rejected by the Planning Department.

A revised application replacing it with "bord and pillar" method was given the tick of approval, pending the Independent Planning Commission decision.

Mr Lidbury told the commission it was an "environmentally friendly mining process".

"The Russell Vale colliery project has engineered out the risk associated with mining under the Water NSW catchment, the noise generated, the air quality and the adverse effects on visual impacts on the pit top area."

Wollongong City Councillor Cath Blakey also addressed the commission, claiming Wollongong Coal had a "track record of defying conditions of consent".

"This Russell Vale coal mine pit top is the closest mine to residential areas anywhere in Australia," Cr Blakey said.

"There are significant adverse impacts when it comes to water, flooding, dust, noise and air pollution.

"There are outstanding financial liabilities for remediation work.

"For a company that has paid no tax since 2013, has $1 billion of debt, on balance of the benefits an the adverse impacts, this project is not in the public interest."