Coal certainty delivers job security
Giving communities certainty for the future is the reasoning behind the NSW Government’s decisions on coal mining in two different parts of the State.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Resources Paul Toole said a proposal to extend Dendrobium coal mine had been declared State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) given its importance to Port Kembla steelworks and its thousands of employees.
“Dendrobium is a critical source of coking coal for the Port Kembla steelworks and the decision to declare the project SSI will provide thousands of workers with greater certainty on the future of their jobs,” Mr Toole said.
“This decision recognises the proposal’s potential economic benefits, with the mine already contributing $1.9 billion to the State’s economy each year, employing 4,500 workers and supporting another 10,000 jobs across the Illawarra.”
The NSW Government also confirmed it would rule out future coal exploration in the Hawkins and Rumker areas in the State’s Central West.
“In regard to the Hawkins-Rumker areas, it is clear that significant commercial, logistical, and social constraints mean there is a low probability of a thermal coal mine being developed on this greenfield site,” Mr Toole said.
The Hawkins-Rumker areas will be removed from the map published with the NSW Government’s Future of Coal Statement.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said Dendrobium mine’s proponent, South32, had taken into consideration concerns raised by the Independent Planning Commission.
“The decision to declare Dendrobium SSI followed support for a motion passed in the Legislative Council early this year. It will now go through a rigorous assessment process and the community will still have their say,” Mr Stokes said.
“It is important to provide certainty to communities on the future of these sites, and the decision to rule out the release of Hawkins and Rumker for coal exploration does that.”
An SSI declaration does not change the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s rigorous assessment of the proposal to extend Dendrobium coal mine.
South32 can now request assessment requirements to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement which will then go on public exhibition for community feedback and detailed assessment.