South Korean government-backed mining company Kepco will appeal a court ruling that upheld a planning commission decision to reject its proposed coal mine in the Bylong Valley.
The Independent Planning Commission ruled in September 2019 that the company's proposed mine would pose too great a threat to the valley's farmland, water, and environment and that its climate impacts were ultimately not in the public interest.
The NSW Land and Environment Court upheld the commission's decision in December 2020 after the company appealed.
It advised this week that it was launching another appeal, this time against the court ruling.
Bylong Valley Protection Alliance spokesperson Phillip Kennedy called on the company to sell the 30,000 acres it purchased back to farming families to make the valley productive again.
"KEPCO is predominantly owned by the South Korean government so for it to pursue this coal mine while that government talks up its so-called green new deal is the height of hypocrisy," he said.
"This seems like a stark contradiction of how the South Korean government is portraying itself in the international media and what KEPCO is proposing to do in Australia.
"KEPCO's appeal makes a mockery of Korean climate commitments and is an ill-considered pursuit of a very destructive coal mine - there have now been two legal decisions rejecting it. When will KEPCO get the message?
"If the Korean government says it wants to be green then let KEPCO lead the way and sell the land back to Australian mum and dad farmers to build this community again."
The NSW Environmental Defenders Office, which represented the Bylong community described the new court appeal as disappointing.
The valley's rich soils is classed in the top 3.5 per cent in the state.
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But Kepco argues the mine, which would yield an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of coal a year, would inject around $290 million into the NSW economy.
It is estimated the company has spent about $700 million buying up land in the Bylong Valley over 10 years.
The Independent Planning Commission's rejection of the project followed the Land and Environment Court's rejection of the Rocky Hill coal mine in Gloucester.
'Problematic greenhouse gas emissions' were cited in the rejection of both projects.
The planning commission also found "groundwater impacts at the proposed Bylong mine would be unacceptable" and the impact on productive agricultural land "would last long after the mine is decommissioned."
"The project is not in the public interest because it is contrary to the principles of ecologically sustainable development - namely intergenerational equity because the predicted economic benefits would accrue to the present generation but the long-term environmental, heritage and agricultural costs will be borne by the future generations," the commission said.
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