The Rocky Hill Coal Mine is threatening the beautiful Gloucester Valley.
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Thanks to the more than 200 people who attended the public meeting on Thursday 13 July 2017 at the Gloucester Soldiers Club.  It was a wonderful turnout and enables us to send a strong message to the government.  The following resolution, which was passed unanimously with one abstention, has been sent to the Premier and Ministers for Planning and Resources.

“This meeting of residents of Gloucester and environs expresses its total opposition to the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine on account of its proximity to closely settled areas and the known harmful impacts that will result.  This meeting calls on the Berejiklian Government to take immediate action to prevent the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine being approved and to rescind all exploration licences currently held by Gloucester Resources Limited.”

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MidCoast Election
At the MidCoast Council election on 9 September 2017, 11 Councillors will be elected. There are 69 candidates organised into 11 formal groups (A to K on the ballot paper) and an ungrouped list (L on the ballot paper).

Groundswell Gloucester does not endorse any particular group, however a letter was sent to the leader of each group to ascertain their position on the Rocky Hill Coal Mine.

To date we have received 9 replies:
Group A – Len Roberts (Nationals)
Group B – Brad Christensen (Independent)
Group C - John Rosenbaum
Group D – Peter Epov (Community First)
Group G – Bell Team – James Hooke (Independent)
Group I – Katheryn Smith (Independent)
Group J – David Keegan – (Country Labor)
Group K – Jan McWilliams (Independent)
Group H – David West (Independent)

All seven groups have advised that they oppose the Rocky Hill Coal Mine. The responses can be found below.

Groundswell Gloucester informed the candidates that failure to respond would be taken as consent to the Rocky Hill Mine.

These groups have not responded:
Group E – Troy Fowler (Liberals)
Group F – Karen Hutchinson (Independent)

We also note the initiative of the Manning Clean Water Action Group (MCWAG) in asking candidates for their opinions on Climate Change, including mining in the Shire.
They have responses from Groups C E, J and K. More information can be accessed from the MCWAG website

Group A 
You would know by now my (and therefore my team) view on the matter as completely in line with Midcoast Council, that is total opposition.  All of the LRC members were afforded the opportunity to discuss the matter before John Turner made his decision and what he had to say reflected our unanimous view. Keep up the good work.
All the best Len

Group B
I'm totally against the Rocky Hill mine. My main concern is its location. 
Regards Brad


Group D
The Rocky Hill Coal Mine is an important issue for the whole of the MidCoast Council electorate. As you have previously stated we have had active advocacy for Gloucester regarding CSG and AGL. The Rocky Hill Coal Mine will have negative implications in our area and consequently Group D does not support this project.
Kerry Anderson on behalf of Group D

Group G
I, James Hooke, on behalf of Bell Team thank you for your question regarding the Rocky Hill Mine and reply as follows:
We oppose the proposed Rocky Hill Mine. We support previous council resolutions opposing the mine on the grounds of environmental matters and proximity to homes. We especially oppose the proposed mine on health grounds considering  its relative closeness to schools, a hospital and the Gloucester population.
Yours faithfully,
James Hooke 
for Bell Team

Group H
As a former Deputy mayor of Greater Taree City Council Chairman of Midcoast Water and member of MidCoast Council's Local representative Committee I have been in a position to speak long and loud against not only this but also the CSG issue ably supported by Frank Hook and Alled Hoggett, unlike Manning Alliance Groundswell  has had its agenda firmly placed on resolving both these issues, the thing that has undermined your efforts is the self centred its all about  us Manning Alliance and that is again at the fore with him trumpeting he stopped the CSG, whilst ever I am in a position To do so I will put my every effort behind Groundswell and the Gloucester community. Please keep me in the loop as I hope to be returned to council on 9 September.
I am sending this from my phone I am on the road at the moment. Hence the probability that this note may seem a little disjointed
Kindest Regards
David West

Group I
I refer to your letter regarding candidate position on Rocky Hill. As you would be aware I voted against Rocky Hill as a councilor when I was an elected member of Gloucester Shire Council. I also wrote my own personal submission against Rocky Hill last year when the EIS was amended.
Katheryn Smith

Group J
The Country Labor team is opposed to all mining in water catchment areas, including the
proposed expansion of the Rocky Hill Coal mine near Gloucester.
We believe that the proposed mine expansion will take it far too close to the township of Gloucester and that this will have negative impacts on Gloucester residents and businesses, including – exposure to coal dust and consequential adverse impacts on health; exposure to noise pollution; destruction of a local waterway; reduction in property values; and loss of amenity.
Whilst a GTCC Councillor, Dr David Keegan initiated the GTCC objection to CSG extraction in the Gloucester Valley and as Chair of the Estuary and coastline Committee,he pushed for the Committee to expand its Terms of Reference to include the Manning Catchment, thereby addressing concerns of the effects of CSG mining on the Avon floodplain, and the Manning Catchment (the source of the Taree and Great Lakes water supply).
Claire Pontin was a very active participant in the anti-CSG activities in the Gloucester valley, is a committee member of MCWAG, a member of Groundswell Gloucester and supports their campaigns against the expansion of the mine. She has also personally written to several NSW Ministers seeking the revocation of the Rocky Hill coal mine licences.
We believe that coal mining needs to cease but are cognizant of the likely impact on coal mining jobs. It is important, therefore that any moves to reduce coal extraction need to be supported by projects to expand other industries such as tourism and renewable energy production and storage. We see these as locally viable alternatives to coal mining in the Avon valley. 

Group K
The answer to your question  Is that at Great Lakes Council we voted against Coal seam Gas before we were amalgamated. And while I was Chair of the Local Representative Committee,we all voted against the Rocky Hill Coal Mine. And after that the matter went up to a Council Meeting  where even the Administrator spoke against it also.
Sincerely Jan McWilliams


Keep up to date with what's happening with the Rocky Hill coal mine application. Information is on the NSW Planning website.


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Here we go again

We rejoiced when AGL announced that they were giving up on coal seam gas. Now the mainly foreign-owned Gloucester Resources Limited has returned to try to start a new coal mine called “Rocky Hill” at Forbesdale.

There are two approved coal mines owned by Yancoal in the valley; Duralie which is active and Stratford which has approval to expand but is not active now. The coal mined at Duralie is processed at Stratford.

An EIS for Rocky Hill was first exhibited in 2013 but put on hold in 2015 without being decided.

Now GRL are trying again, this time using the existing Stratford plant and railhead, under contract with Yancoal, instead of building their own. The EIS was placed on exhibition and well over 1000 submissions were received in opposition to the mine. GRL has responded to these submissions and the Department of Planning is now considering its recommendation. For more information click here.
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If approved it will extend coal mining in the valley for decades.

Schools and hundreds of homes are within the 5km health danger zone of the project’s first stage. Future expansion could be as close as 1km from the built up area of Gloucester.

The source of health and environmental problems will be closer to people and the risks will last longer than the Stratford mine.

In a world of oversupply and industry decline due to energy competition why should another coal mine be imposed on the rural community of Gloucester?

Donations to Groundswell Gloucester can be made by direct deposit. BSB  721 000 • Account 100 166 385
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