THE controversial Wallarah 2 coal mine will test federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg’s acceptance of science over politics, say Central Coast Labor MPs who have called on the minister to block the mine.
Federal Labor MP Emma McBride and NSW MP David Harris have quoted the Independent Expert Scientific Committee’s damning assessment of Korean Government-backed Wallarah 2 mine, in a letter to Mr Frydenberg a week after the mine was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.
The committee in 2013 concluded there were “significant risks associated with the proposed project having a detrimental and long-lasting effect on an already stressed water supply catchment”.
The PAC relied on updated modelling and modifications to find the risks could be managed and mitigated.
But Ms McBride and Mr Harris have called on Mr Frydenberg to use his powers to block the mine after it was referred to the Federal Government for a final assessment under the Environment, Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Final approval will depend on Mr Frydenberg’s decision about the mine’s impact on threatened species and water resources.
Ms McBridge said Mr Frydenberg represented the Central Coast’s final hope to block the unpopular mine proposal on the border of the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie.
“If he doesn’t stop this mine he’s not only ignoring our community, he is ignoring the advice of experts who clearly say this mine is a threat to our water catchment,” Ms McBride said.
“Our waterways are precious and this mine could have an impact for decades to come.”
Mr Harris said the NSW Liberal Party had broken repeated election campaign promises to the Central Coast that the Wallarah 2 would not be built, and legislation would be introduced to permanently block it.
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