An Australian land and environment court shut down development of the Rocky Hill coal mine in the Hunter Valley on Friday. The ruling was made keeping in mind the coal mine’s impact on Climate Change
Australia’s Environment and Land court ruled against Gloucester Resources’ appeal to establish the Rocky Hill coal mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. Chief Judge Brian Preston cited the potential harm the mine would have had on Climate Change during Friday’s ruling.
Gloucester Resources Limited had made an appeal to reverse a decision of the New South Wales government, which rejected the company’s application for an open-cut Rocky Hill mine in the Gloucester town of NSW in 2017. The decision was made keeping in mind the mine’s hazardous effects on climate change in the region. The coal company argued that the Hunter Valley mine would create over a hundred and fifty jobs, producing over a hundred million tons of coal within sixteen years.
The Gloucester Resources vs NSW Planning Commission case witnessed an historic judgement on Friday morning. The judgement read, “An open-cut coal mine in this part of the Gloucester Valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Adding, “Wrong place because an open-cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many people’s homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts… Wrong time because the [greenhouse gas] emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of [greenhouse gases] at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in emissions”. In conclusion, Judge Brian Preston wrote, “These dire consequences should be avoided.”
The Environment Defenders’ Office NSW Chief Executive, David Morris said, “It’s very difficult to see how any future coal project avoids the judge’s finding about this being the wrong time for it”.