A large group of people have gathered on the haul road of Whitehaven’s Tarrawonga Coal Mine at Leard State Forest near Narrabri this morning to protest the impact of the company’s expansion plans on farmlands and forest.
A cloud of legal uncertainty hangs over the company’s planned Maules Creek coal mine, which would destroy 625 hectares of critically endangered Box Gum Woodland and drop the water table by at least 5 metres.
Maules Creek resident Anne-Marie Rasmussen said the coal mine’s impact would be devastating.
“We cannot afford to destroy our remaining forests and deplete the planet’s dwindling resources,” Ms. Rasmussen said.
“If Whitehaven cannot prove they can fully offset their destruction of the Leard State Forest they should cut their losses and abandon the Maules Creek open-cut pit.”
The legality of former environment minister Tony Burke’s approval of the mine is being challenged in the Federal Court and the federal government is also investigating whether Whitehaven has made false and misleading information about their biodiversity offsets.
Critics of the mine contend that there is not enough Box Gum forest left to offset the Maules Creek coal mine.