The Hunter Community Environment Centre has welcomed the referral of the T4 proposal to the PAC, and remain hopeful that the public hearing will provide the opportunity for a genuine independent and expert assessment of T4.
"The decision about T4 is crucial to the future of our city and our port, so it is vital for the community to have their voice heard on the full
range of impacts," said Hunter Community Environment Centre spokesperson John Mackenzie. "This project needs to be assessed on its merits. This means that the impact that it will have on community health, air quality, the local environment and the impacts on surrounding farmland all have to be part of the equation."
"We have seen that the Department of Planning and Environment make gross mistakes of judgement in the approval of coal projects in recent times, largely due to the limited capacity of that Department to do credible economic assessment. Their recommendation for T4 is no surprise."
"We are, however, confident that a genuinely independent assessment of the T4 proposal will show that this project has very little community support," said John Mackenzie. "The widespread feeling in this community is that the marginal economic return simply isn't worth the costs to public health and our environment."
"T4 is a project whose benefits were overstated from the beginning and which was dreamed up at the height of a coal boom that has long since
passed. Given the current state of the global coal market, the very idea of increasing Newcastle’s export capacity seems absurdly optimistic."