THE people who have been fighting the proposed Doyles Creek underground mine nears Jerrys Plains took a collective sigh of relief on Friday.
Their mood was upbeat thanks to the release of Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) report finding those responsible for granting and those seeking the Exploration Licence (EL) 7270 for Doyles Creek Mining (DCM) have acted corruptly.
But it has been a long, costly and arduous battle for the group who have told anyone who would listen to them there was a stench of corruption surrounding the entire process.
Now they feel vindicated but realistic their fight against a coal mine is far from over.
On the cover of the ICAC report was a photograph of the Doyles Creek – Appletree Flat area included in the EL taken by Robyn Moore who along with her husband Ian have been in the forefront of the battle against DCM.
The photograph was shown on the first day of the ICAC hearings into Operation Acacia on March 18 this year and it shows the magnificent agricultural area covered by the EL.
“We were so proud to see our photograph on the cover of the ICAC report - it shows everyone what we are fighting to save, it symbolises our campaign,” said an emotional Ian Moore.
“I don’t want to leave this property and hopefully at the end of the process I won’t have to – this report is the first step along our way and without it we would not have a chance to kill off the EL.”
Mr Moore took DCM now owned by NuCoal Resources to the Land and Environment Court in 2011 to prevent them coming onto his property to conduct drilling for core testing – he lost that battle something that devastated he and Robyn.
Not one to give up easily despite him being legally blind he decided after the failure in court that he really had to dig his heels in and stop what he saw was not only as corrupt behaviour on the part of all those involved with the issuing of the EL but also the destruction of a beautiful valley.
“I am not anti mining, I have never been, DCM was the first mine I have ever fought with and if the government gives them the go head then they are condoning corruption, "Mr Moore said.
His views were reinforced by Doyles Creek landholder Allen Barry who has done much research on the project in particular the similarity in shareholders between DCM and NuCoal Resources.
DCM became NuCoal Resources in a reverse acquisition in January 2010 with a numbers of directors from DCM becoming directors of NuCoal Resources including Glen Lewis the current managing director of NuCoal Resources.
Mr Barry said 20 shareholders of NuCoal resources controlled 73.8 per cent of the total shareholding of the company and of interest was the fact Mr Maitland and Mr Poole still holding shares in the company (according to Nucoal Resources annual report in June 2012) .
“If DCM keeps its licence the government would be saying corruption is okay as long as the people at the centre of the corruption have left – as long as they got out early made millions,” he said.
“Well that gives the green light to every hoodlum crook it the land to do what they want.”