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Gelliondale coal mine proposal a test for state government

December 6, 2013

Friends of the Earth. Media release.

Gelliondale Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ignite Energy Resources Limited, is currently applying for a Retention Licence to facilitate the development of the Gelliondale Coal Project in South Gippsland.

A retention licence is a relatively recent amendment to the mining approvals process in Victoria, and provides extra time for miners while they undertake ‘intensive exploration, research and other non-mining activities to demonstrate the economic viability of mining an identified mineral resource’.

“Recently, the state government has extended the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) for gas mining in response to community concerns” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “We welcome the fact that the Premier has been listening to community concerns about new onshore gas operations”.

“Yet exploration for coal and gas can continue, and at least one company intends to start major drilling operations in early 2014. There is an expectation that the government will also shortly make an announcement on new coal allocations.”

“The long running proposal to establish a new coal mine at Gelliondale now sits as a test for the government. An open cut mine will clearly have a major impact on this rural area. It will impact negatively on public health and farming activity, and require substantial water allocations. Will the Premier show he is listening to community concern and intervene in this issue? The approval of a retention lease will prolong the anxiety and uncertainty already being felt in this community.”

“The Premier can step in and show the community he is listening to concerns by ruling out any new coal mines in Gippsland. Community polling shows this is what the community wants. Will the Premier listen?”

Further comment
Cam Walker 0419 338 047

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