Court adjourns legal action to stop clearing in Leard Forest

The Land and Environment Court has adjourned until tomorrow the hearing of a legal action to stop the clearing of the Leard State Forest for the controversial Maules Creek Coal Mine, near Narrabri in north-west NSW.

10 June 2014

Tuesday 10 June 2014, 5:53pm

The Maules Creek Community Council, represented by the environmental law experts EDO NSW, has applied for an injunction to immediately stop the operational clearing of Leard State Forest by Whitehaven Coal.

The group has argued that Whitehaven Coal is in breach of its development consent by clearing the forest during winter when animals, including threatened species, are hibernating.  A breach of a development consent contravenes the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The clearing has been allowed under changes to the Biodiversity Management Plan which were approved by the NSW Department of Planning. The community group argued that these changes were invalid.

 The new Maules Creek coal mine involves the clearing of 1385 hectares of forest including 624 hectares of rare forest such as the Box-Gum Woodland, listed as an Endangered Ecological Community. These areas provide habitat for threatened species including bats, koalas, forest owls,  the Swift Parrot and the Regent Honeyeater.

The Land and Environment Court adjourned the hearing until 10 am tomorrow.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: jon.walter@edonsw.org.au or (02) 9017 3906 or 0404 647 842