The Land and Environment Court has upheld the NSW Planning Assessment Commission decision to approve the extension to Wilpinjong open-cut coal mine near Wollar in the Hunter Valley.
The Wollar Progress Association, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office NSW, had challenged the approval on the grounds that it did not properly consider the impact of climate change.
The approval gives Wilpinjong Coal, a subsidiary of Peabody, permission to expand its open-cut mining operations for an additional seven years and develop a new open cut pit that will bring the mine closer to the village of Wollar.
The Wollar Progress Association argued the April 2017 approval was invalid because, amongst other things, the commission hadn’t considered climate change impacts in the way it should according to NSW planning law.
The NSW Government introduced a State Environmental Planning Policy in 2007 which requires decision-makers to consider the greenhouse emissions of mines, including downstream emissions.
The court upheld the commission’s approval on Tuesday afternoon.
An Environmental Defenders Office spokeswoman said it was digesting the judgment and its ramifications for planning law in NSW .
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