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Byron Shire
March 20, 2023

Legal action launched to stop Leard Forest clearing

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Protesters lock on at Leard State Forest. Image from LeardStateForest Flickr stream.

The Maules Creek Community Council (MCCC) last Friday launched legal action in court to stop the clearing of Leard State Forest for the controversial Maules Creek Coal Mine, near Narrabri in north-west NSW.

The Council has commenced civil enforcement proceedings against Whitehaven Coal in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

It is represented by the environmental law experts EDO NSW.

MCCC is seeking an injunction to stop the operational clearing of Leard State Forest on the grounds that Whitehaven is in breach of its development consent by clearing the forest during winter when animals, including threatened species, are hibernating.

A breach of a development consent contravenes the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Maules Creek Community Council spokesperson, farmer Phil Laird, said, ‘We have launched a legal case today because we believe the winter clearing that is occurring in the forest is a breach of NSW planning and environment laws.

‘We believe the clearing is unlawful, and we are seeking to have the case heard quickly so that no more irreparable damage is done to this unique forest environment and the animals that live in it.

‘As a local community, we feel that we have been forced to take this action because the NSW government has failed in its responsibility to uphold the law and protect the environment of NSW.’

See more at http://www.maulescreek.org/

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  1. I have written two articles on mining and their lies about employment figures being non factual My local paper has printed both of them, it is the Northern daily Leader.
    I have also written about CSG and the damage of fracking.
    I want to find documented research on the holding ponds and their affect on humans and animals, and the chemicals the mining company uses.
    What happens when it rains and the ponds overflow? Who are the mining companies CEO’s that don’t was CSG anywhere near their properties, I think this was in America but not sure. My email you have, I have a postal box at Moonbi 224 Gill street Moonbi 2353. House address 24 Gill Street Moonbi NSW 2353. Thankyou for your news on this mining company and the others.
    Carmel Metcalf
    Ph 0267605961

    • Hi Carmel,
      I do not have the information you require, though I am sure you will manage to find it with enough enquiry.

      I DO want to commend you on your line of enquiry! The effect of holding pond waste water on the environment plus establishing the content of toxic fracking fluids is crucial to stopping fracking and non-conventional gas mining! It may be ok for the NSW government to ban B-Tex and other fracking materials, but what about the rest of the materials and the “proprietary blends” mixed together by the likes of Haliburton in the US and shipped to Australia for use, free of disclosure rules!

      Best wishes in your endeavour …. we MUST be successful in stopping fracking and protecting our water and the environment as a whole!
      Thank you

  2. Watch the State Government change or repeal legislation that could be used against the mining industry in this case. There is precedent for this. If the law comes out against the government then simply change the law – problem (and the environment) gone!

  3. Well done, Leard Forest protectors! No doubt we are all watching exactly what the government changes according to what best meets their needs, and if we think that legislation won’t be altered to suit the government’s agenda (and that of their puppeteers), I expect we’d be in for a shock. They’re a short-sighted mob, though, sadly, and don’t seem to twig that what harms the environment actually harms them (that most don’t give a damn about even their own descendants seems clear from their ongoing neglect of our precious planet).

    They must know, though, that we’re watching their every move with more than a touch of skepticism, so just how many local resident action groups, all over the state and the country, are our ‘representatives’ prepared to take on?


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