Hunter Valley community groups have branded the latest NSW Minerals Council campaign as ‘lies and spin’.
“People in the Hunter will see this desperate public relations exercise for what it is,” said Hunter Central Rivers Alliance spokesperson Steve Phillips. “Stephen Gallilee is telling ‘Land Use Lies’ rather than being up front about the real impacts of coal mining.”
The Minerals Council campaign claims that mining occupies only 0.1% of New South Wales. The Hunter Valley floor is 2,000km2. Mines account for 315km2 or 16% of this area. Mineral exploration leases account for an addition 1,280km2 or another 64%.
“Mining has lost its social licence in the Hunter and other parts of the state where communities are now saying ‘enough is enough’,” said Hunter Communities Network spokesperson Bev Smiles. “Restoring that social licence will take much more than a campaign built on this sort of nonsense.”
The NSW Minerals Council has launched an online video and plans an ‘advertising blitz’ in response to growing opposition to the expansion of coal mining in the state.
On Saturday, 1,500 people participated in the ‘Stop T4’ rally in Newcastle, including more than 100 community groups from throughout the Hunter. The rally called on the NSW Government to reject a proposed fourth coal terminal due to unacceptable community and environmental health impacts.
Another rally was held on Sunday in Cambelltown to call on the NSW government to protect drinking water, local communities and farmland from coal seem gas development.