A CULLEN BULLEN resident prominent in a lobby group campaigning against a massive Coalpac open cut mining project around the village believes political interests should have wider consultation with affected parties before publishing opinions on the controversy.
Darcy McCann said he was concerned at the contents of a paid advertisement appearing in the Lithgow Mercury last week authorised by the Democratic Labor Party.
According to the DLP anyone concerned about the Cullen Bullen project should visit the information centre set up by Coalpac.
Spokesman Anthony Craig said he too was concerned about environmental issues associated with mining but had been enlightened about what Coalpac proposed and the timetable for completion.
“They seem to have done their homework and are committed to protecting the environment once the coal is extracted,” he said.
He referred to the number of jobs promised by the company and said ‘we need to support our local coal miners and this project’.
But according to Mr McCann this is another example of a political aspirant seeing a situation through rose coloured glasses.
Mr McCann said the 300 jobs referred to were during the construction phase and only a handful of locals had gained employment with the mine which dominates their village.
He said his own earthmoving business had been awarded no work since operation began 17 years ago.
In that time his and other homes in Cullen Bullen had suffered damage the owners claim is a result of the mining operations.
“It’s like little earth tremors regularly coming through here from the Cullen Valley mine,” he said.
“But the company rejects any suggestion they are to blame.
“They claim the damage is the result of the houses being badly constructed or on a clay foundation.
Mr McCann said there was no attempt at putting the trucks though any sort of wash when leaving the mine site and the result was ‘slurry’ faced by motorists.
He said ‘environmental credentials’ had to be questioned as ‘thousands of trees have already been knocked down with no concern for the wildlife’.
“The DLP should come and talk to us,” he said.
“When a survey was conducted there were 750 people opposed to this project and only 126 in support.
“It should be a case of majority rules.”