Miner stopped from clearing forest during breeding season

Legal action by a local community group against a new coal mine has led to the NSW government preventing forest clearing during spring when threatened animals are breeding and winter when they are hibernating.

23 October 2014

EDO NSW Principal Solicitor Sue Higginson said conditions had been imposed by the Department of Planning and the Environment on Whitehaven Coal to restrict clearing in the Leard forest, near Narrabri in the state’s north west, from February 15 to April 30.

“The condition prevents clearing by Whitehaven while wildlife is at its most vulnerable during hibernation and the breeding season which is what our client, the Maules Creek Community Council (MCCC), has sought all along,” Ms Higginson said.

The company had sought to change their Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) to allow clearing of up to 163 hectares of forest between 1 November and 31 January, 2015.

The MCCC‘s legal challenge had resulted in Whitehaven agreeing to stop winter clearing in June until the court made a decision about the changes to BMP.

The Maules Creek open cut coal mine will eventually clear 1664 hectares of forest which provides habitat for threatened species including bats, birds, koalas, reptiles and forest owls.

 Contact: EDO NSW Jon Walter 0404 647 842