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Bickham Ban "Only 1st Step" For Hunter Valley

Wednesday, 26th May 2010

Halting the proposed Bickham coal mine near Murrurundi "is only the 1st step in achieving sustainable long-term land management across the Upper Hunter Valley," according to Darley Australia managing director Hentry Plumptre, who is also campaign leader for the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders' Association "Protect Our Industries" campaign. Plumptre told thoroughbrednews.com.au it is important that exploration licences for "wildcat mines" such as Doyles Creek at Jerry's Plains, Ferndale at Yarrawa & Spur Hill at Denman are "addressed within a broader strategic plan" that would go well beyond Upper Hunter Shire boundaries. He noted: "We have just about finished a strategic plan for the Hunter Valley & we will get that into government within the next 2 weeks, hopefully. The Bickham decision was an important benchmark decision for the region, but already there are half a dozen other separate exploration licences in existence that pose just as big a threat, not in the Segenhoe Valley but further down, around Muswellbrook, Jerry's Plains & Denman. There are 6 projects that could have a massive impact." Plumptre added the HTBA hoped to "consult directly with established mining companies" in relation to licences to extend mining activities & emphasised: "We are hoping, with the bigger, more responsible mining companies, for direct consultation; in other words, getting a resolution that suits us & suits them & then going to government saying we are mutually agreed & this is the way we ought to go. If we can be involved in the process of deciding the mining footprint, to make sure it doesn't impact us too much, then we are happy to move forward. Projects unacceptable to us are the stand alone projects that currently have very little infrastructure, would have a profound impact on the region & have no place to be there."

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