TIGHES Hill residents have overwhelmingly supported early NSW Government moves to close Carrington coal terminal and “renew” the precinct for tourism or other uses.
Tighes Hill Community Group on Wednesday will present the Department of Planning with more than 300 submissions supporting an investigation of the Carrington precinct’s potential, on the final day of the public exhibition period for the draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan.
The investigation by the Port of Newcastle, working with Newcastle City Council and the Department of Planning, will look at the potential to relocate coal export facilities and bulk fuel storage away from residential areas. It was revealed with the draft plan’s release in November.
Tighes Hill Community Group spokesperson Charlotte McCabe said residents were delighted the NSW Government was open to exploring closing the city’s oldest and most urban export coal terminal and concentrating all coal exports on Kooragang Island, further away from residential areas.
“We are heartened that the Department of Planning is aligning plans for the city with the wishes of the local community. Relocating the coal export terminal is a universally positive outcome for the people of the port and rail-side suburbs of Newcastle. It means greater economic diversity and less air pollution for Newcastle,” Ms McCabe said.
“This investigation is consistent with the decision by the Port of Newcastle to promote diversification. Relocating the Carrington coal terminal and stockpiles will free up prime real estate that could much more beneficially be used for new export or tourism industries such as the proposed Carrington Cruise Ship Terminal, uses that are compatible with a residential area.”
The group encouraged people to make a submission to the department before the public exhibition period ends on Wednesday.
A survey of 205 households in the Tighes Hill area found 92 per cent thought Carrington coal terminal should be phased out by 2024 when its current licence expires.
Doctors for the Environment Australia endorsed the call to investigate the relocation of the coal terminal as “well overdue”.
DEA spokesperson and Newcastle specialist Dr John Van Der Kallen said Newcastle’s three coal terminals were the city’s top sources of coarse particle pollution which contributes to a range of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses.
The Carrington terminal was “much too close to residential areas”, Dr Van Der Kallen said.