Centennial to argue for relief for Springvale operation

Centennial Coal has stated it will push for nine months of “relief” to regain NSW planning approval for Springvale Mine’s continued operation and extension. 

Centennial Coal and environmental group 4Nature, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, will attend a final hearing in the Land and Environment Court on October 16-17, before the court hands down orders on the validity of Springvale Mine’s approval. 

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In August the NSW Court of Appeal ruled in favor of 4Nature, finding that the Planning Assessment Commission had applied a test incorrectly when approving the mine’s extension. 

“On 16 and 17 October, the Land and Environment Court will hear evidence from both sides on how long Springvale can continue operating,” a statement issued by Centennial Coal said. 

“Centennial will use whatever period the LEC grants us, we will argue the need for nine months, to regularise Springvale's consent through the NSW planning system. 4Nature and the EDO have indicated that they will ask the Court to allow Springvale to continue operating for 28 days from the judgment.”

The president of 4Nature Andrew Cox said Centennial’s statement regarding 4Nature’s legal plans was inaccurate. 

“No. It’s not correct. 4nature are currently preparing for a final hearing before the court on 16-17 October, and the court will decide what the appropriate orders are following that hearing,” he said. 

Centennial Coal said it was “impressing upon” the government the importance of Springvale’s continued operation. 

“The NSW Government can secure Springvale’s future. In the short term government have the ability to use emergency powers to direct Springvale to continue operating in order to secure the supply of energy in NSW. Government also has the power to introduce special legislation to Parliament validating Springvale’s consent.”

Mr Toole has said the state government would use its powers to intervene “if necessary” to keep Mt Piper Power Station and Springvale operational.