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Russell Vale Colliery set to expand long wall mining

Russell Vale Colliery. PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary.

THE Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining  (IRRM) will be forced to fork-out $40,000 in security costs for its case to be heard in the Land and Environment Court against Gujarat NRE Coking Coal Ltd (GNRE).

IRRM had brought a case to test the legality of GNRE’s commencement of long wall mining in the absence of a development or major project approval.

IRRM spokesperson Kaye Osborn said it is a disappointing outcome for people who care about the impact of the expanding mine on the environment and the surrounding residential suburbs.

“It would be a great shame if this matter never sees the light of day in court due to GNRE’s security for costs order,” Ms Osborn said.

IRRM brought a case to test the legality of GNRE’s commencement of long wall mining without a development or major project approval.  The judge confirmed that the case was of public interest, however ordered $40,000 in security in response to GNRE’s request for a $75,000 costs order.

Following initiation of the legal proceedings, GNRE applied retrospectively for long wall mining approval.

Ms Osborn said the group is considering its options.

GNRE is expected apply before the end of the year to increase its production out of Russell Vale Colliery to 10 times current levels by long wall mining a third strata of coal under the Sydney Water Catchment Special Area.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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