Media Release

29 August 2017

The NSW Opposition is renewing its demand that the Government cancel the Shenhua Watermark open cut mine, as Labor Leader Luke Foley visits the Liverpool Plains today.

Mr Foley, Shadow Resources Minister Adam Searle and Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe will hear the concerns about the damaging effect the open cut mine will have on the Liverpool Plains when they speak with property owners, local farmers, community stakeholders and representatives of the local Indigenous community in Breeza today.

In July, NSW Labor came out strongly against the Liberal-National Government’s decision to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to buy half of an expired exploration licence.

Mr Foley says it is nonsensical for the Government to pay Shenhua $262 million dollars when the exploration licence had already expired last year.

In addition, there is a clause in the exploration licence that states “if the licence holder fails to commence substantial development of a mine within 8 years of the awarding of the original exploration license… the Minister may cancel any title in place.”

NSW Labor will continue to fight the Government’s decision which will inevitably see mining on the fertile Liverpool Plains.

Liverpool Plains is prime agricultural land and the potential impact to the water table and food bowl is enormous.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

“I’m here on the Liverpool Plains today to hear directly from the people concerned that the Shenhua mine is still going ahead.

“It is outrageous that this Government will hand back hundreds of millions of dollars for Shenhua Watermark to continue exploration in Liverpool Plains, after it was already given 8 years. The exploration licence needs to be cancelled.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Resources Adam Searle:

“The NSW Government is under no obligation to pay Shenhua any money and should not do so – but especially after their exploration licence has already expired.

“This is grotesque corporate welfare. The money should be invested in new classrooms and hospitals.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe:

“Labor is calling on the NSW Government to shut Shenhua Watermark down because the potential impact to the environment is unacceptable.

“The impact on water, the impact on native animals like koalas is too much. The Liverpool Plains needs protection not a new mine.”

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