ROCKY HILL - APPEALS AGAINST REFUSALFriday 16 Feb, 2018
Gloucester Resources Limited has appealed against the refusal of its development application for the Rocky Hill Coal Mine. Stratford Coal Pty Limited has appealed against the refusal of its application to modify the development consent for the Stratford Extension Project. The two appeals are related because the modifications to the Stratford Extension Project were to coal from the Rocky Hill Coal Mine to be processed and loaded onto rail at Stratford Coal Mine. In these appeals, the Court becomes the consent authority and re-determines the planning applications.
The appeals will be heard together on 13 to 31 August 2018. Most of the hearing will be conducted at the Land and Environment Court, 225 Macquarie Street, Sydney. The Court will also attend the site and surrounding areas during the hearing. Arrangements for this will be finalised shortly before the hearing.
Options for objector involvement
Objectors to the planning applications have the following options in relation to the appeals: 1. Apply to the Court to be heard as if you are a party to the appeal. If you wish to exercise this right, you must apply in writing to the Land and Environment Court within 28 days of this letter (section 97A of the Act). 2. Give oral evidence at the hearing. See further details below.
2 3. Attend the hearing as an observer. There is no need to notify me if you wish to attend as an observer, the hearing will be open to the public. 4. Have no further involvement.
Giving oral evidence at the hearing
There will be an opportunity for objectors to give evidence at the hearing, either in Gloucester or in Sydney. If you wish to give evidence, please send an expression of interest, including the following information: • Your contact details (email, phone number, home address); • Whether you represent any other person or group; and • The topic (e.g. traffic, air quality, biodiversity) that you wish to address. Please send your expression of interest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rocky Hill Coal Mine” in the subject heading by 30 June 2018. I will contact you after that date to make arrangements.
Updates Updates and further information about the appeals will be placed on the Department of Planning and Environment website at this address:
The Final Decision - Rocky Hill ExtensionFriday 15 Dec, 2017
The Planning Assessment Commission has decided to refuse consent to the State significant development application by Gloucester Resources Limited for the Rocky Hill Coal Project, and the modification application from Yancoal to amend the development consent (SSD 4966) for their Stratford Extension Project at their Stratford Mining Complex.
Click this link to see the summary of the decision: NSW Planning Assessment Commission - Summary Fact Sheet
Voices of Community Energy PodcastThursday 11 May, 2017
"Voices of Community Energy" recently came to Gloucester and interviewed Cam Laurie, James Hooke, Dianne Montague and Anna Burley about the ups and downs that Gloucester, like many other small towns, had been through with industries growing and declining over the years. These ups and downs have brought challenges and benefits at the same time. Recently, proposed coal and gas mining in the valley of Gloucester divided the town but now it’s community energy which is promising to build bridges and keep the community together. Download this podcast, and visit the facebook page to learn more about Community Energy https://www.facebook.com/voce.net.au.
The full podcast is also available for download here in 4 parts:
Working to secure water supplies for the futureWednesday 26 Apr, 2017
MidCoast Water's Operational Plan will deliver on a firm commitment to provide quality water and sewer services to the people of the MidCoast region by moving on important projects during the 2017-18 year.
Administrator of MidCoast Water, John Turner said the coming year will see MidCoast Water invest in progressing the construction of a second water scheme for the Manning and Great Lakes communities as well as undertaking required water and sewer maintenance projects.
Mr Turner said a focus on the delivery of quality services will remain at the forefront of MidCoast Water’s future, regardless of any change to the organisation’s governance structure.
“Change is clearly imminent for MidCoast Water, with the NSW State Government currently considering a proposal to dissolve MidCoast County Council and transfer its assets, liabilities and functions to MidCoast Council,” Mr Turner said in presenting the organisation’s operational plan for 2017-18 to the community.
General Manager of MidCoast Water, Ken Gouldthorp said a major focus for MidCoast Water will be the construction of the Nabiac Water Treatment Plant, a major component of the Nabiac Inland Dune Aquifer Water Supply System. This project is designed to provide an alternative water source to the 36,000 Manning and Great Lakes customers currently reliant on the Manning River for their water supply. A sum of $11.3 million has been allocated in the 2017-18 financial year for the project.
“Our focus on maintenance will continue, with a $2.8 million proposed allocation to our ongoing program to renew water and sewer mains across our service area,” Mr Gouldthorp added.
“We will also begin investigating the replacement of the Gloucester Sewage Treatment Plant, with $400,000 allocated to this and a sum of $500,000 has been earmarked for proceeding to design stage for the Gloucester water network renewal.”
Planning funds have been proposed to investigate an upgrade of the sewer network at Tea Gardens, and looking at the options for an upgrade to the Bootawa Dam spillway.
“A number of other important activities will also be undertaken including audits on our drinking water quality management system to ensure we are continually improving on our delivery to our community,” Mr Gouldthorp added.
With electricity one of the major costs for the organisation, coming in at approximately $3 million per year, Mr Gouldthorp said there will be a continued focus on energy efficiency.
“Electricity prices are a major cost for us and increasing electricity prices places pressure on the prices we have to charge our community for water and sewer services.”
MidCoast Water proposes to introduce limited increases to rates and charges for the 2017-18 year, with the average bill (for customers receiving both water and sewer services) increasing 6.3 per cent.
The proposed new water charges, from July 1, will be $3.28 per kilolitre (thousand litres) for the first 50 kilolitres per quarter. Water usage above 50 kilolitres per quarter will be charged at $3.66 per kilolitre.
The average customer will experience a $20.25 per quarter increase in their water access and charges, however high water usage customers could face larger increases.
“While there is an increase on last year’s prices, for the average customer receiving both water and sewer services it equates to about $1.55 per week,” Mr Gouldthorp said.
Community encouraged to have their say
Mr Turner said members of the community are encouraged to have their say on MidCoast Water’s draft operational plan and budget by making a submission during the formal public exhibition period.
The draft operational plan and budget are currently on display at MidCoast Water customer service centres in Muldoon Street, Taree and Breese Parade Forster and the MidCoast Council chambers in King Street, Gloucester as well as on the MidCoast Water website www.midcoastwater.com.au
Submissions from the general community are welcome, and will be accepted until 5pm on Thursday May 18, 2017.
Angel Flight - Who are they?Wednesday 19 Apr, 2017
Angel Flight are a not for profit charity that provide free flights to financially struggling country people who need to attend medical appointments in the city. They do not receive any Government funding nor do we fundraise. They rely solely on word of mouth and donations. 100% of the donations go straight into Angel Flights and the administration of Angel Flights.
Many country people do not know that they can utilise our service for free and they would like to spread the word so people know they can access Angel Flight services.
ANGEL Flight is a charity that coordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with the triple trouble of bad health, poor finances and daunting distances.
Many country people don’t know they can access Angel Flight services free of charge and are struggling to get to their city medical appointments.
All flights are completely free and involve patients travelling to medical facilities anywhere in Australia.
Angel Flight can coordinate flights for country people travelling to their city medical appointments as well as ground transport in the city from the airport to their medical facility and back to airport.
Patients of all ages needing medical treatment at destinations where other forms of transport are physically and emotionally taxing or unaffordable can access Angel Flight services.
Angel Flight can also transport blood and blood products and medical drugs to country people requiring these items.
To be able to fly with Angel Flight, passengers must be medically stable, ambulatory and physically able to enter and exit a small aircraft without assistance from the pilot.
They must also be able to sit up in the aircraft with a seatbelt on for an extended period of time and if necessary be able to communicate with the pilot.
Passengers are encouraged to bring a friend or relative to travel with them and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Angel Flight have conducted more than 20,000 flights since 2003 helping over 3000 patients Australia wide.
Patients can access Angel Flight services through their health professional such as a medical practitioner, nurse or social worker.
Angel Flight can only accept mission requests from a health professional.
All flights are conducted by volunteer pilots in their own aircraft.
Our volunteer pilot’s flight credentials exceed the requirements of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and all aircraft meet specified CASA and insurance requirements.
Angel Flight’s Earth Angels then provide car transport between the airports and the medical facilities.
Angel Flight is funded by private donations from individuals, community service groups and clubs, corporations and deceased estates.
These donations are then used to pay for the fuel used by both the pilots and Earth Angels.
Angel Flight can assist anyone who is medically and financially disadvantaged, families who have been financially devastated by medical bills due to illness, accidents or other chronic conditions and those in need of transport on compassionate grounds.
Angel Flight can also assist on multiple occasions for attending follow-up appointments or undertaking a series of treatments for a medical condition.
Registered health professionals make the referrals on behalf of the patients and the health professional can register with Angel Flight quickly and easily online.
It generally takes 5-7 working days for an Angel Flight coordinator to organise a flight.
For further information visit the Angel Flight website www.angelflight.org.au or call Angel Flight on 1300 726 567.
Strong Thunderstorm warning 21st & 22nd MarchMonday 20 Mar, 2017
Martin Babakhan details outlook for Gloucester and The Hunter
Strong Thunderstorm warning today (21st March) from 3-4pm and a severe Thunderstorm warning tomorrow (22nd March from 12 - 1pm). Please take extreme care during these times. See our study on Stepped Leader Lightning on the Weather Tab (http://buckettsradio.com.au/weather)
Farmers in Gloucester and The Hunter can expect between 30 and 40mm rain this week.
For full analysis, please listen to the podcast on our weather page (http://buckettsradio.com.au/weather).