Local News

Recommendations to the NSW Government for coal exploration at Wollar

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There has been a recommendation to the NSW Government for coal exploration at Wollar. 

Wollar is 48 kilometres northeast of Mudgee near Bylong where a controversial mine by Korean company KEPCO was recently rejected by the Independent Planning Commission. 

The Advisory Body for Strategic Release, which control's the state's minerals reserves, has written to Deputy Premier John Barilaro recommending the government approves the development of the Hawkins-Rumker area in the central tablelands and a Wollar field. 

The two large coal fields could be getting opened for exploration.

But at the moment, John Barilaro has told Radio Hunter Valley in a statement that  "no decision has been made by the NSW Government to open up areas to strategic release". 

A new Wollar field would likely be of interest to American group Peabody who own the Wilpinjong mine northeast of Mudgee.

Senior Climate Council Researcher Tim Baxter said opening new mines, or even exploring the option is fueling a problem.

“We are talking about a state that has just been hit with unprecedented and catastrophic bushfires in September, and is suffering through an extreme, prolonged drought, itself unprecedented. These conditions are being exacerbated by climate change, which is being driven by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels,” said Tim Baxter. 

“These impacts come at a great cost to people's homes, livelihoods, and local communities. No government could accept this advice without completely tossing aside the well-being of their constituents, and the regional economy,” he said.  

“The advice from this body cannot be acted upon and it is imperative that the Minister dismisses it."

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse