Bulga residents opposed to the expansion of the Warkworth and Mount Thorley coal mines rallied in Sydney today to make a noise.
The purpose of the rally to was let the NSW Department of Planning hear what its like to live adjacent to an open cut coal mine.
Bulga residents, supporters and community groups gathered, opposite offices of NSW Planning Department, to demonstrate noise impacts from Rio Tinto’s expansion of its huge Warkworth open-cut coal mine.
Organisers said decision-makers will be given a small taste of what it's like to live next to a coal mine, with broadcasted mine noise and people banging pots, pans, drums etc
This latest rally is part of a five year campaign by the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association against the expansion plans.
Association spokesman John Krey said on November 26 the NSW Government gave Rio Tinto approval to expand its huge Warkworth open-cut coal mine, which threatens to wipe out the village of Bulga, bulldoze a rare and threatened bushland ecosystem, and destroy an area of immense cultural importance to the Wonnarua people of the Hunter Valley.
Bulga resident AnneMaree McLaughlin said, “Bulga’s Christmas present from the NSW Planning Minister is more coal, more noise, more dust and more environmental destruction.
“Politicians, having never lived next to a coal mine, may not appreciate the noise impacts. We endure regular blasting and 24 hour operations, interrupting sleep and day to day conversations. Our complaints about breaches of noise limits are nearly always met with a deaf ear.
“The fight to save Bulga is not over. Over 3,000 people signed the Bulga Declaration promising to support the community by using peaceful, direct action to stop the minr expansion.
“We’re exploring all options, including further legal challenges. We have twice won in court and will do everything possible to secure justice for the Bulga community in future.”
Commenting on the rally a Rio Tinto spokesperson said “In their determination the Planning Assessment Commission stated: ‘the Commission is satisfied that there is a robust set of conditions that will ensure that compliance with noise and air quality limits is achieved, or appropriately managed and mitigated in accordance with government policy’.
“Mount Thorley Warkworth continues to work proactively to ensure that we minimise the noise from our operations including completing the sound attenuation of the heavy mining equipment by the end of 2016.”