NSW government says 'no point' in cutting coal production as world demand will continue for decades

THE state government's new coalmining policy says there is no point in reducing coal exports for environmental reasons, and it opens up eight substantial areas for exploration in the Hunter and adjacent areas, including 178 square kilometres of state forest between historic Wollombi and Broke.

Flanked by Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and the NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee, Mr Barilaro said he had promised at last year's state election to make NSW the "number one destination for mining investment", and this policy continued that "vision and bold approach".

A map of coal-bearing regions released with the policy earmarked five exploration areas that prohibited coal mining by legislation.

Mr Barilaro acknowledged that the exploration licences for these areas had already been relinquished, and that the government had not extended any mining bans, including in the area southwest of Sydney, where underground mines were operating controversially under the Warragamba Dam catchment area.

A map outlining areas where exploration is to be encouraged, in blue, and mining prohibited by legislation, in red. The main area in pink will not be 'proactively' explored but mines are able to explore for expansion in to adjacent areas.

 A map outlining areas where exploration is to be encouraged, in blue, and mining prohibited by legislation, in red. The main area in pink will not be 'proactively' explored but mines are able to explore for expansion in to adjacent areas.

The map includes eight exploration areas Mr Barilaro said were part of its "fast track" approach for mining approvals, including the major Giants Creek area, north of Muswellbrook, Gorman North, at Narrabri, and five areas in the Ulan, Bylong and Mudgee regions, as well as Wollombi.

Read the full article published in the Newcastle Herald 25th June 2020