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Dendrobium Mine Expansion in Sydney Water Catchment Refused: Victory for Common Sense, Environment, Community

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
5 February 2021

The Independent Planning Commission’s decision. handed down today, to refuse Dendrobium’s controversial coal mine’s expansion underneath Sydney’s water catchment is a victory for common sense, the environment and the community, says Cate Faehrmann Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Water.

“The IPC’s decision is a massive win for the community who has been fighting hard to protect Sydney’s water catchment from coal mining. No longer can the Government hold the line that mining coal underneath Sydney’s water catchments is risk-free,” said Cate Faehrmann. 

“Throughout NSW I’ve witnessed rivers, creeks and wetlands that have literally dried up due to the subsidence caused by longwall mining underneath, or in close vicinity to them. 

“This decision must be the nail in the coffin for longwall mining anywhere near our water catchments. We must begin phasing out this destructive practice now. 

“It’s extremely significant that the IPC has, despite political pressure, sent a strong signal that the emissions of any new coal mine will play a role in their decision making. 

“I congratulate the community for their hard work over many years in bringing attention to the destruction that longwall coal mining causes to our precious water systems here in NSW,” said Ms Faehrmann. 

The IPC’s determination found that the project: 

  • Would cause significant subsidence, resulting in the degradation of 25 watercourses and swamps in the Metropolitan Special Area and lead to the potential instability and fracturing of up to 40 cliffs above the proposed longwalls. 
  • Would result in detrimental impacts to biodiversity, threatened ecological communities and aboriginal cultural artefacts and values, including irreversible damage to 58 identified Aboriginal cultural heritage sites. 
  • Would lead to potentially significant surface water losses into the groundwater systems which may increase the concentration of metals and impact water quality in the Metropolitan special area. 
  • Would result in a 3.9% reduction in the yield of Avon Reservoir catchment during drought conditions. 
  • The predicted greenhouse emissions from the project would be significant. 


profile image
Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
5 February 2021


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