A ‘People’s Hearing’ into the proposed fourth coal terminal will be held at Newcastle City Hall at 6pm next Tuesday 15 October. Representatives of 20 community and environment groups will present reasons why the NSW Government should reject T4.
Newcastle is already the world’s largest coal port and a massive fourth coal terminal is proposed,” said Coal Terminal Action Group spokesperson Ms Fee Mozeley.
“This is arguably one of the most important decisions we’ll make about the future of our city, so it’s important that residents have opportunities to participate actively in the decision” Ms Mozeley said.
The Environmental Assessment report for T4 was released for public comment in March 2012. More than 500 people made submissions, with 93% expressing opposition to the coal terminal. After 18 months, Port Waratah Coal Services released their Preferred Project Report (PPR) for the coal terminal last month. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure invite submissions until October 28.
The People’s hearing will replicate the format of the Planning Assessment Commission hearings expected later this year or early 2014. Three ‘commissioners’ will hear community members’ evidence and arguments before summing up and recommending whether or not the NSW Government should approve the coal terminal and, if so, under what conditions. The three commissioners are Professor Linda Connors (University of Sydney), Mr Pepe Clarke (CEO of the NSW Nature Conservation Council) and Mr John Sutton (a former Newcastle City Councillor).