The beautiful Gloucester Valley is under threat from coal and gas mining. 

Gloucester is the Gateway to the world heritage listed Barrington Tops National Park. The Gloucester district thrives on tourism and agriculture.

Coal intruded on the valley when a “boutique” mine with a short life span began at Stratford in 1995, and then again when a similar coal mine opened at Duralie in 2003. Both projects have expanded and are now seeking yet another extension of their operations.

In 2011, during the dying days of the NSW Labor Government, AGL was given approval for 330 coal seam gas (CSG) wells. There are 110 wells in Stage 1 of AGL’s CSG project, which the Federal Government approved amid much controversy just before the State Government promised there would be a 2km exclusion zone for new CSG projects in residential areas.

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Then, in early 2012, much of the Gloucester community was shocked to hear that a company called Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) had taken the first step in seeking approval to build a mine just 900 metres from a residential estate, 4.9 kilometres from the hospital and 4.7 kilometres from the high school. This mine is Stage 1 of their long-term plan to extend northwards up the valley, even closer to the hospital, schools and residential areas.
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Current mining
There are active open cut coal mines at Stratford and Duralie, both owned by Yancoal Australia (a 100% Chinese State-owned company).

Approved mining
AGL’s Gloucester Coal Seam Gas project includes 110 wells in Stage 1 and up to 330 wells in a Stages 2 and 3. Production has not yet commenced but AGL have said they expect to begin drilling and fracking in 2014, with production by 2016.

Mining in the Approval Process
An extension to Stratford mine is waiting for approval and a decision is to be announced soon.
A new open cut coal mine has been proposed by GRL at Rocky Hill. Submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement for this mine have been lodged and the community is awaiting the government’s decision.

The majority of residents, and the Gloucester Council, want to keep the rural character and sustainable industries of the district. We want to live in a safe environment where our children are not exposed to health risks from air, water and noise pollution. We firmly believe that if the extractive industries continue to grow here, these things we value will be lost.
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