Media Release
Lithgow City Council

5 March 2013

Mayor Seeks Ministerial Support for Coalpac Development

In a meeting with the Minister for Planning the Lithgow Mayor last week met expressed the need for the Coalpac development to proceed.

A panel of the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) recently rejected the proposal to expand mining operations at the Cullen Valley and Invincible coals mines. As a result of this rejection proposed jobs for up to 130 people at the mine are under threat and the flow on benefits to the community will be lost. The proposal is currently undergoing significant changes for the consideration of a second PAC panel and Lithgow City Council Mayor, Councillor Maree Statham, has held urgent talks with the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Brad Hazzard, in an attempt to ensure that the next panel of the PAC is independent and that the application is processed by the Department of Planning as quickly as possible. 

“Our deputation to the Minister for Planning on the Coalpac Mine issue was well received” said Lithgow City Mayor, Councillor Maree Statham. “It was wonderful that the Minister was able to see us at such relatively short notice and we thank local member Paul Toole for the speed that he was able to arrange the meeting with the Minister.”

"I was very disappointed with the outcome of the last PAC panel and felt that there was a perceived lack of independence on the panel" said Mayor Statham.

“Minister Hazzard gave us a great hearing and gave several commitments for the project including:

  • Requesting the Department of Planning to accelerate the consideration of the Coalpac application
  • That the application will have the complete focus of the Department and that if necessary additional staffing will be brought into the Department to ensure that the application is processed as possible
  • Request that independent panel members will be appointed to the next PAC panel
  • The application will be posted on the web as soon as it comes in

"One of the issues raised in the last panel hearing was the lack of support for the development so I would urge members of the community to write to the Department of Planning expressing their support for the development” said Mayor Statham.

"It is not just the direct jobs that we are fighting for here there are many others at state and we need to support projects like this to help ensure that we keep jobs in the local area" concluded Mayor Statham.

Contact:

Mayor Maree Statham
Tel: 02 6354 9999
Fax: 02 6351 4259