Media Release

12 July 2017

NSW Labor is calling on the Government to cancel the Shenhua Watermark project, criticising today’s decision to compensate the company $262 million dollars for 51.4 percent of their exploration license which expired in October 2016.

A clause in the exploration license states that “if the license 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.”

Shenhua’s exploration license had already expired last year; therefore the Government does not need to pay them a quarter of a billion dollars.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley says today’s decision by the Government 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:

“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 license needs to be cancelled.

“The license holder has not commenced substantial development of a mine, despite receiving an exploration license almost 9 years ago.

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

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Resources Adam Searle:

“While Shenhua Watermark is free to pursue a new lease, even on a smaller parcel of land, the NSW Government is under no obligation to pay them any money and should not do so- but especially after their exploration license has already expired.

“The lease had already expired so the NSW Government is under no obligation to pay Shenhua Watermark any money and should not do so. This is grotesque corporate welfare when they should be investing in new classrooms and hospitals.”