Mixed messages in planning decisions

Trying to understand the NSW planning system is no easy matter.

Last week the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) rejected Anglo American’s Drayton South Coal Project for the fourth time.

Now whether you agree with that decision or not PAC has told the state government over and over again that the open cut mine should not be built next door to two of the world’s leading horse studs namely Coolmore and Godolphin.

So one would expect the government to listen to its independent planning review body and act.

That would mean telling Anglo, and or whoever may buy the site from the company, that no more mining applications can be made for that site. End of story.

Have we heard anything from the government – the silence is deafening.

The state’s opposition Labor leader Luke Foley quickly responded saying his party would act and prevent another application and investigation what is needed to protect the region’s thoroughbred industry from similar projects being proposed which threaten their viability.

Before people say the PAC’s decision will herald the death knell of the region’s mining industry the same day it was published Glencore announced they were shipping their first load of coal from the recently reopened Integra underground mine.

Mining won’t stop due to the PAC determination just as the coal leaving Integra won’t stop the thoroughbred industry.

Good planning means having the right development in the right place.

Do we want to a gun shop next to a daycare centre?  

No and so it should be with mines or all night service stations or a brothel in the midst of residential areas. 

Its all in the planning and ensuring we get it correct so we can work and live in a harmonious community.

One other part of the PAC report made for interesting reading. 

PAC was concerned about the increase of dust and or a reduction of air quality and the risks its posed to equine health.

While we agree with PAC’s opinion on dust the question must be asked, especially no doubt by the residents of Bulga, what about the affects of dust on humans?

One PAC says the dust is too great for our equine friends but other PACs appear to ignore the risk of dust on the nearby residents. Interesting approach to planning.