The Greens will today attempt to have a national park declared at Jilliby in an effort to prevent the Wallarah 2 coal mine from proceeding.
The Greens will introduce an amendment to the state government’s National Parks Bill in State Parliament to declare the Jilliby State Conservation Area a national park.
Mining is outlawed in national parks, the Greens said.
Greens MLC and resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said a separate amendment would also seek to declare Wyong State Forest as part of the ‘new’ Jilliby National Park.
Mr Buckingham said the move was all about protecting the Central Coast’s water supply.
He said both major parties had promised the community they would oppose the Wallarah 2 mine, now they should act to deliver this protection.
“The controversial Wallarah 2 coal mine project poses massive threats to the future of the Central Coast’s drinking water and it’s ludicrous the plan hasn’t been thrown out before now,” he said.
“The IPCC report from last week was a call for action - the world must end coal by 2050 for a chance of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees. This means the government should not approve any new mines, let alone Wallarah 2 that threatens essential drinking water for the Central Coast community.
“The Greens have listened to the local community and will introduce an amendment in State Parliament aimed at declaring Jilliby State Conservation Area a National Park and stopping Wallarah 2 from going ahead.”
Central Coast Labor MPs Emma McBride and David Harris have asked for federal government intervention to stop the mine.
“Prior to the 2011 NSW election, then Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell famously stood before a rally of residents on the Central Coast and gave a ‘no ifs, no buts’ guarantee there would not be any mining in any water catchment,” Mr Buckingham said.
“The NSW government broke its promise and betrayed the community but it can do better.
“Both parties should take this chance provided by the Greens six months out from the state election of creating a valuable new national park and putting a stop to Wallarah 2.
“If they can’t, then they should step aside for leaders who can better represent the interests of the Central Coast community over the vested interests of coal,” Mr Buckingham said.
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission (now the Independent Planning Commission) approved the Wallarah 2 Coal Project on January 16 this year.
The project has received all necessary approvals from the state government and is in the final stages of assessment at Commonwealth level.
The mining proposal has been subjected to extensive examination. Some 195 conditions of consent were applied in the PAC’s approval.
NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee told the Lakes Mail in August that the mine was arguably the most “rigorously assessed” mining project in Australia’s history.
The mine’s proponents, Wyong Coal, have maintained that the geology of the proposed mining area provided safeguards for the region’s water supply.