Farmer concerns remain unanswered on Shenhua project

NSW Farmers has acknowledged the release of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee advice to the Federal Environment Minister on the Shenhua Watermark coal project proposed for the Liverpool Plains.

Fiona Simson, the association’s President said: “We welcome the increased scientific scrutiny on this project. The committee has done a good job highlighting the many unknowns that exist around this project. Certainly there are too many unknowns to confidently let this project go ahead in our view.”

“The advice highlighted that any scientific assessment of the impacts can only be as good as the information and data that is available for analysis.

“This is what the farming community has been saying all along and while it’s good news this concern was confirmed by the committee, it is highly worrying that the approvals process is still rolling on.

“The lack of a full bioregional assessment for the Namoi Valley and a lack of comprehensive data should mean this project doesn’t proceed.

“Without a comprehensive and thorough understanding of what the impacts of the project are, the risk is just too great. We cannot place this very important agricultural area at risk knowing that we are playing Russian roulette with the aquifers.

“We strongly urge Minister Hunt to take these risks into account when he makes his decision. This is not the last coal resource available in NSW. This mine, in this place, at this time, is too risky and it is not necessary,” Ms Simson concluded.

ends

8 May 2015

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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