Rio Tinto appeals court decision on Warkworth Extension

“Residents of the village of Bulga in the Upper Hunter thought years of bullying and intimidation by mining giant Rio Tinto might have ended last week when the Land and Environment Court overturned the state government’s approval of the Warkworth Extension Coal mine,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Mr Pepe Clarke said.

“But regrettably, the Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal and Allied has today appealed the decision, ensuring that a cloud of doubt will continue to hang over the village of Bulga, surrounding farmland and the endangered Warkworth Sands Woodlands for some time to come.

“The community should never have had to fight this fight, but the state government and the planning system failed to protect the people’s rights so they had not alternative but to go to court.

“Now that the people of Bulga have won their appeal convincingly on each point, it is deeply disappointing that they will have to go back to court to argue their case again.

“All along, Rio Tinto has played fast and loose with the truth about the economic costs and benefits of this project, exaggerating the number of jobs the project would create to secure state government approval for a mining proposal that local residents clearly oppose.”

Date: April 23, 2013

Media contact: James Tremain, 0419 272 254 or 9516 0206.

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