Noise Breach Could Force Mangoola Closure
By JOANNE McCARTHY
March 27, 2014, 10:24 p.m
MANGOOLA Coal Mine should close if it breaches noise conditions, under a ‘‘novel’’ proposal to hold the mine to account for its undertakings during the approval process.
Muswellbrook Shire Council has told the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) that the mine should close if it breaches noise conditions, until it can satisfy the director-general of the Department of Planning that it can operate within its approval.
The proposal came in the council’s submission to the PAC, which met in Muswellbrook yesterday to consider a plan to intensify mining at the site.
Wybong residents living close to the mine outside Muswellbrook have complained that current noise conditions are inadequate, and that the proposed conditions would make living near the mine even harder.
They reject Department of Planning assessments that the proposed noise-abatement and testing measures at Mangoola are acceptable.
Muswellbrook mayor Martin Rush said the council’s proposed condition was a logical response to the expert evidence Mangoola and its owner, Glencore Xstrata, had presented to the PAC.
‘‘Council has asked for a condition requiring nothing more than the mine says it can do, and we don’t anticipate the mine will object to it,’’ Mr Rush said.
‘‘The novelty in the condition is that it more appropriately balances the impacts to a local community against the impacts to the mine’s bottom line, in the event of a breach.’’
The PAC has reserved its decision.