The Land and Environment Court has today handed down its decision on the Rocky Hill Coal Mine. This landmark decision is the first time we see a court taking into account the full impact of a coal mine’s impact on our climate. This is a rare win for the environment but will hopefully set a precedent that ends the coal industry.

Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“For the first time we have seen the planning system take into account “Scope 3” emissions for a coal mine, which are the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by burning the coal produced by the mine.

“This is a real breakthrough because the greenhouse gas emissions from operating a coal mine are dwarfed by the emissions from burning the coal they dig up.

“In the case of the Rocky Hill mine the “Scope 3” emissions from burning the coal are 20 times more than the “Scope 1” and “Scope 2” emissions from operating the mine and transporting the coal.

“This is the one rare occasion where the Department of Planning, the Planning Assessment Commission and the Land and Environment Court have now all said that this coal mine is too environmentally damaging and should not proceed.

“The local community who have been so extraordinarily well represented by Gloucester Groundswell are to be commended for never giving up and fighting for Gloucester and the global environment.

“It shouldn’t take so much effort to refuse such a damaging proposal.

“Three quarters of the proposed mine site was on environmentally sensitive land, protected under local planning laws, but this counted for nothing because every coal mine is considered “State Significant” and therefore local protections don’t apply.

“If this project had not come through the State Significant loophole it would never have got to first base. That loophole now needs to be closed for all coal mines,” Mr Shoebridge said.