The Planning Assessment Commission for the Mt Thorley-Warkworth Continuation Project (Warkworth Project) has requested further submissions relating to a proposal to change the State Environmental Planning Policy (mining, petroleum production and extractive industries) (Mining SEPP). The current Mining SEPP requires consent authorities to give the “significance” of a resource the greatest weight in their assessment of mining projects. The proposed amendment would revert to the earlier approach of a balance of social, environmental and economic factors.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the September 2015 Planning Assessment Commission hearing on the Springvale coal mine extension proposal. Key points:
Economic assessment of the project fails to comply with NSW government guidelines and widely-accepted professional standards.
- No indication is provided as to the financial viability of the mine, making all claimed economic benefits at risk of serious overstatement.
- The Department of Planning and Environment recommendations of approval are based on flawed assessment.
The Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, has brought a welcome reality check to discussion about the Adani coal mine, pointing out the danger of overstating the importance of the mine to the state’s economy.
Queensland has workforce of 2.3 million people. Adani’s own economic expert has said the mine will create around 1400 jobs, or a 0.06% increase in the state’s workforce.
The latest economic report from gas lobby group APPEA adds to an already enormous amount of industry-commissioned ‘research’ which overstates the value of the gas industry to Australia and the Territory and downplays its environmental impacts and costs to other services.
The assumptions behind the economic modelling are unrealistic and the results have been put into press release form without context.
A key assumption is that eastern Australia is running out of gas and that: