Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

NSW Greens call on Labor to close Peabody-owned Metropolitan Mine at Helensburgh

The NSW Greens will push the new Labor government to start a transition plan to close a major coal mine in the northern Illawarra that has been operating since 1887.

Greens environment spokeswoman Sue Higginson said the Peabody-owned Metropolitan Mine at Helensburgh could not manage its pollution in line with community expectations in terms of environmental controls.

"What we know is this mine is old, it's dirty, it's in the wrong place," she said.

The spill also delayed plans to re-introduce platypuses into the Royal National Park and resulted in the EPA upgrading the mine's licence with a "variation".

The variation requires Peabody to "conduct a detailed analysis of potential pollutants and contaminants that could discharge into the waterways".

"Testing will need to be conducted for a range of potential pollutants including metals, nutrients, pH, turbidity, and electrical conductivity," an EPA statement said.

A headshot of a woman smiling
Sue Higginson has called for Labor to work on a plan to close the Metropolitan coal mine in Helensburgh.(Supplied: Greens NSW)

But Ms Higginson said the measures were not good enough and Labor needed to formulate a plan to close the mine.

"We will absolutely be working with the community to push this Labor government to face the music that we are hearing right now and to get a plan on the table and start to work on the shutdown of this mine," she said.

Story by Nick McLaren at ABC Illawarra, 27 March 2023.