Have your say before the 22nd of November

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Have your say before the 22nd of November

Coal Terminal Action Group via email.nationbuilder.com
2:26 PM (27 minutes ago)

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Coal Terminal Action Group

The Preferred Project Report (PPR) for the proposed fourth coal terminal (T4) in Newcastle is open for public comment until the end of this week. Can you make a submission right now on the PPR on T4, it will only take a few minutes of your time and you can make a real difference!

Have your say before the 22nd of November

Port Waratah Coal Services have said there is no immediate need for another coal terminal in Newcastle, and yet they are pushing ahead to get Government approval for their controversial “T4” coal terminal. They have produced a ‘Preferred Project Report’ (PPR), which is supposed to respond to the submissions we all made about the air pollution, noise, biodiversity, traffic, and toxics impacts of the project.

T4 will be reviewed by a Planning and Assessment Commission in coming months. We are urging community members and groups to participate actively in the PAC hearing.

But before that, we need all our friends and supporters to make submissions on the PPR to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to demonstrate why we are opposed to another coal terminal in our community and estuary!

Closing date for submissions from the public is Friday, 22 November 2013.


Here’s 10 good reasons to say ‘No’ to T4:

[I object to this project and believe that the community health, environmental and socioeconomic impacts will have far outweighed any short-term benefits it is claimed it will deliver. These include:]

  1. Global warming: The burning of an additional 70Mt of coal a year will add 174.2Mt of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This is equal to 30% of Australia’s total annual GHG emissions. The International Energy Agency predicts that to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, global coal demand must peak in 2016, at least a year before PWCS indicates T4’s will begin operation.
  2. The Hunter Estuary supports 112 species of waterbirds and nationally and internationally listed threatened species, including the Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus), listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
  3. Deep and Swan Ponds: The Project will wipe out 80% of Deep Pond, which supports at least 11 species of migratory recorded and above the threshold of 0.1 per cent of the Australian flyway population for three migratory shorebird species, and will develop part of Swan Pond which supports three species in numbers that exceed the threshold of 0.1 per cent of the Australian flyway population.
  4. Misuse of public conservation lands: Swan Pond is public land, owned and managed by the National Parks Service under Part 11 of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act. It is part of a highly successful long-term restoration project, the Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project (KWRP) and has been the site of significant hours of volunteer labour by the local bird watching club.
  5. Air quality: Newcastle and the Hunter Valley communities are impacted by dust from the mining, transport and stockpiling of coal. An additional 70Mt of coal exported will mean about an additional 7000 trips of 80 wagon trains between the Hunter mines and the port and back again per year, the capacity to export coal from an additional 8 to 10 mega mines and four new 1.5km coal stockpiles will substantially add to PM10 emissions in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
  6. Air quality modelling flaws: PWCS’s air quality modelling continues to use 2010 as a base year. NSW Health has suggested that PWCS should have included “a justification for assuming the PM10 levels in 2010 would be a realistic baseline for modelling future particulate levels or alternatively use, as a baseline, average levels over a longer period of time”.  This recommendation is ignored in the PPR.
  7. Particle pollution from rail transport: The PPR does not address air quality issues from rail transport returning to the Upper Hunter Valley. PWCS continues to focus on air quality impacts within 20m of the rail corridor, but there are almost 30,000 people living within 500m of the rail corridor and 23,000 students attend 16 schools in that vicinity. The submission to the EA by NSW Health noted that the contribution of coal dust from coal trains beyond 20m from the rail corridor needs to be carefully considered, but this recommendation is ignored.
  8. Justification for the project: There is no justification for the project. PWCS does not commit to building T4 and only suggests an indicative build date of 2015 with operation maybe in 2017.  During a major downturn in global coal demand, Newcastle’s approved coal export port capacity of 211Mt seems optimistic. Last year only 141Mt of coal was exported meaning 60Mt or 42 per cent of capacity was uninstalled.
  9. Employment:  The 120 Mt facility proposed in the EA identified no additional employment would result from its operation. The revised T4 project of 70Mt million of the RT/PPR is identified as employing 80 additional people. How is this possible? This dubious additional employment is not explained.
  10. Economics: PWCS’s claimed economic benefits to the region are based on a type of economic modelling the Australian Bureau of Statistics calls “biased” and the Productivity Commission says is regularly “abused”, usually to overstate the economic importance of specific projects. The original economic assessment of the T4 project suggests its annual operating costs will only be between $45-50 million a year.  Since that assessment was made, the size of the project has “almost halved”, so the amount of money it will “inject” into the economy has presumably declined considerably. For the terminal to achieve its economic potential, a lot more coal has to be dug up and exported. This means that a lot more bush and agricultural land needs to be turned into coal mines. A lot more coal trains need to pass through Newcastle’s suburbs. At the site of the proposal, a significant wetland would have to be destroyed.  And, of course, the extra coal being burned would contribute to climate change. None of these costs are considered in the economic assessment commissioned by PWCS. (Read Rod Campbell’s economic analysis here.)

If you made a submission on the Environmental Assessment of T4, we encourage you to read the response to submissions and see if PWCS have addressed your concerns. We do not think they have addressed ours.

Thank you for your continued support,

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