Upper Hunter residents say coal mine rehab should include replanting woodland and forest corridors

COAL mining companies should do better to ensure what they leave behind can be repurposed to create jobs, and to restore the environment, Hunter residents say.

COAL MINE REHAB: Is enough being done? Upper Hunter residents have their say. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

More than 70 per cent of Upper Hunter residents who responded to a Hunter Renewal poll said mine rehabilitation should include replanting woodland and forest corridors that have been cleared for coal mining in the Hunter.

Spokeswoman for Hunter Renewal, Danielle Coleman, said the polling showed the community wants to see "best practice" mine rehabilitation, which involves restoring forests and woodlands that have been destroyed by mining.

"There's lots of job opportunities in that work," Ms Coleman said.

"The poll also reflects that the community wants the mining industry to pay to repair the damage it has done to the Hunter.

"With recent news that BHP intends to close the Mt Arthur coal mine in 2030, it's more important than ever that mining companies listen to communities and deliver the highest quality mine rehabilitation, including ecological restoration.

"We need a vision for the Hunter that includes a landscape vision for restored lands and new renewable and clean manufacturing precincts in already disturbed areas. This polling shows the local community is clearly behind that approach," she said.

Read the full article published in the Newcastle Herald 11th July 2022