The two year delay to the controversial T4 coal terminal development, announced today, is a victory for communities in the Newcastle, Hunter, and Gunnedah regions, says the Hunter Community Environment Centre.
“Close to 500 hundred submissions were made to the Planning Department, with over 93% objecting to the T4 proposal, citing strong concerns around health, increased coal dust, impacts to internationally listed wetlands, increased trains, inappropriate mining expansion and climate change impacts. Only 1% of submissions supported the T4 proposal,” said Steve Phillips, spokesperson for the HCEC.
“The T4 proposal is clearly opposed by a majority in the community, and this is a major factor in the delay announced today.”
“People in coal-affected suburbs of Newcastle are sick of breathing in coal dust, and cleaning it from their houses. People along the coal rail lines in the Hunter are sick of diesel fumes, the noise, and the vibrations. These people don't want more coal terminals.”
“Farmers and environmentalists in the Gunnedah Basin will celebrate the T4 delay. They are trying to stop massive new coal mines in areas like Maules Creek, that would destroy remnant bushland, consume agricultural land, and break up communities. If T4 is approved, it would result in the equivalent of 15 large new coal mines in the Hunter and Gunnedah regions.”
“Community groups recently conducted door-knocking surveys in the Newcastle suburbs that would be most affected by T4, should it be approved. Preliminary results indicate that 72% of residents in Stockton, Carrington, Tighes Hill, and Mayfield do not want any more coal terminals in Newcastle.”
“Clearly, today's announcment that the T4 proposal is being delayed by two years is welcome news for the community. Now we need to focus on getting this egregious proposal buried for good.”
“We call on the NSW Government to reject the T4 proposal permanently”, said Phillips. “It would be bad for the community, devastating for the environment, and is opposed by the majority of people who would be affected by it. How many more reasons does the NSW Government need to reject this disasterous proposal?”
Community groups will be holding a picnic at the proposed site of the coal loader from midday on Sunday 1 July, to witness firsthand the beautiful wetlands that are proposed to be destroyed, to celebrate the project’s delay and to plan next steps to build the momentum needed to see the fourth coal terminal proposal dropped all together.