Member of Parliament for Bathurst Paul Toole has announced he will introduce legislation into state parliament tomorrow to “secure” the continued operation of Springvale Mine and Mt Piper Power Station.
Mr Toole said the legislation would seek to alter the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to “clarify” the test used to assess whether projects in Sydney’s water catchment have a neutral or beneficial impact on the catchment.
Projects under the new legislation would need to maintain or improve water quality compared to their existing consent conditions.
Mr Toole said the proposed legislation would validate Springvale Mine’s State Significant Development consent and support the construction of the Springvale water treatment plant.
“The NSW Government is proud to support Lithgow workers and this legislation will ensure that 600 jobs are secured,” Mr Toole said.
“This will provide certainty to the workers, their families and the wider community.
“I am pleased that this provides certainty to the community of Lithgow, knowing now that the jobs will be secured and the lights with remain on across this state.”
Lithgow Mayor Stephen Lesslie welcomed Mr Toole’s announcement.
“I think this will solve the issue,” he said.
“But again, if the legislation does solve the issue why wasn’t it announced eight weeks ago? Government needs to keep people fully informed of their actions and decisions as soon as the problem starts.”
Deputy Mayor Wayne McAndrew commented during his speech at a community meeting held on Monday, October 9, that he thought Mr Toole had been forced into action by the news that opposition leader MP Luke Foley was visiting Springvale Mine.
"If I knew a visit from this guy [Luke Foley] would trigger the government into action I would have got him involved a lot longer ago,” Mr McAndrew said.