West Coast group appeals coal consents
West Coast Environment Network filed an appeal with the Environment Court today, challenging resource consents for an
opencast coal mine which would destroy 200 hectares of high-value conservation land.
“Fifty thousand New Zealanders marched down Queen Street last year against mining of public conservation estate. Does
the Government think this is what people wanted? This mine would involve digging up a rare landscape and habitat for
threatened species – owned by the people of New Zealand," says West Coast Environment Network spokesperson Karen Mayhew.
“This mine would more than double New Zealand's coal exports. Once the coal is dug up, the release of carbon dioxide to
the atmosphere is guaranteed. Given the scientific consensus on climate change and its impacts, we consider that this
issue should have been considered properly by the resource consent commissioners”
Australian company Bathurst Resources was granted the consents last month for an opencast mine on the Denniston Plateau
near Westport. The company has plans to mine much of the Plateau, and these resource consents were the first
authorisations they have for their planned Escarpment Mine.
West Coast Environment Network's appeal is on ecological, climate and economic grounds. The group hopes to have Dr James
Hansen, NASA's most eminent climate scientist, appear before the court via videoconference.
More information on the Escarpment Mine Proposal is available in a summary prepared by West Coast Entvironment Network.
This is available on the blog of Coal Action Network Aotearoa, at http://coalactionnetworkaotearoa.wordpress.com/