30 September, 2015

Submissions to the PAC for Airly Mine Extension.

Click here to read the recent submissions to the PAC for Airly Mine Extension.  Scroll down to 'Submissions' and see the list.  The CVA submission is in a separate folder after the others.

Unfortunately some of the annexures have been rotated left, right and over so they are a dog to read.  We are attempting to have the PAC re-scan them to the right way up.

28 September, 2015

Update - Airly Coal mine extension

Click here to read the Capertee Valley Alliance submission to the 'PAC' re the Airly Coal mine extension.

Lets hope that if the project goes ahead the conditions will be varied to protect the Airly and Genowlan Mountains and ensure continuity of water for agriculture.

23 September, 2015

NEWS FLASH. PUBLIC HEARING Airly Mine Extension Project

Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2015 at 3.00pm
Union Theatre, 63-65 Bridge Street, Lithgow.

Final opportunity to speak to the DA Conditions for the Airly Mine Extension Project.
Do you agree with the DA Conditions-?

After this public hearing, no appeal may be made under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 in respect of any future decision made by the Commission (PAC) (including under delegation) in relation to this project application under the ACT (see section 23F of the Act).

The Ministerial Direction and other documents related to this application including the DP&E preliminary assessment report are available on the Commission's website (click here  and reference number R033-15) and the DP&E website (click here).

Airly Extraction plan is available here 

CVA Inc. strongly suggests that you read the documentation to ascertain how this extension may affect your Business/Lifestyle/Environment/Community.

To speak at the hearing you must register beforehand, call Aaron Brown on 02 9383 2112.
The attached letter explains further.

Alert your neighbours, group members who may not be aware of this important meeting.

Issued by CVA Inc.

LINKS to Airly Mine Extension Project proposed by Centennial Airly

Below are some of the links to documents from the Airly Mine Extension Project.

The Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (the IESC) was requested by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment to provide advice on the Airly Mine Extension Project proposed by Centennial Airly Pty Ltd in NSW. (reccomended read)

Link to the report is below or click here -



The CIE has been engaged by the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment (The Department) to peer review the economic assessments produced by Aigis Group (Aigis) (employed by Centennial) for three coal mine projects (the Projects): ■ Springvale Colliery Mine Extension Project, ■ Angus Place Colliery Extension Project, and ■ Airly Coal Mine Extension Project.  (reccomended read)

The link for this is below or click here -



The main page on the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment  web site is the link below or click here

There are a lot of documents here some of which are very large and may take a long time to download .




By the Planning & Assesment Commission (PAC) on

The Minister has directed the PAC to review the application for the Airly Mine extension Project and hold a public hearing during the review.


If you wish to speak at the hearing, call Aaron Brown on 9383 2112 or email pac@pac.nsw..gov.au. Before 21 September 2015

If you wish to make a written submission please send it to Johanna Lee on 9383 2117 or email to pac@pac.nsw.gov.au by 23 September 2015

22 September, 2015

NEWS FLASH. PUBLIC HEARING Airly Mine Extension Project (MORE)

Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2015 at 3.00pm
Union Theatre, 63-65 Bridge Street, Lithgow.

Final opportunity to speak to the DA Conditions for the Airly Mine Extension Project.

If you wish to speak at the hearing contact Aaron Brown on 9388 2112 or email pac@pac.nsw.gov.au before 1pm 21st September.

If you wish to make a written submission please send to Johanna Lee email pac@pac.nsw.gov.au

HOWEVER - Endeavour Energy is interupting your electricity supply o 22nd  September between 8am and 4pm so it could interfere with your plan to write.

21 September, 2015

Sample letter to the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC)

Ms Robyn Kruk AM
Planning Assessment Commission
GPO Box 3415
Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Ms Kruk,

Submission as an objection to proposal R033/15 - Airly Mine Extension Project

I request that the Planning Assessment Commission (the PAC) recommend refusal of consent, as Centennial Coal has not kept its promise to retain half the coal under all areas mined. If the alternative proposal to limit the damage to the 40 kilometres of cliff line to two per cent in this reserve were adopted, it would permit up to 800 metres of unacceptable cliff falls.

All the high cliffs, as well as pagodas, the Grotto, the Valley of the Kings and the historical New Hartley Oil Shale Mine of the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area must be defined as sensitive heritage of special significance and fully protected from subsidence impacts.

The 2013 mining policy required resource economics to be the primary consideration in decision making processes. Under this policy, the Department of Planning and Environment’s project assessment report discounted natural and cultural heritage protection. For example, the Department has recommended ‘efficient recovery of the coal resource’ in the New Hartley mine interaction area, putting pagodas, cliffs and cultural heritage at risk of damage. Under the September 2015 policy, mining under the interaction area, high cliffs and talus slopes should be restricted to first workings. Such coal conservation thinking should not be a consideration in our climate changing world.

The Department also failed to recommend conditions which ensure the health of streams. The pit top must be placed in a ‘restricted release zone’. The Environment Protection Licence must specify and limit all pollutants discharged from this zone to ensure a neutral or beneficial effect on water chemistry and aquatic life in the downstream national parks and the World Heritage Area.

It is documented that water from Airly Creek is already polluted with suspicion pointing to runoff from mining and mining related activities.  This creek flows into Coco Creek which provides water for some of the farmers of Capertee Valley and then continues into the World heritage Area.

Water and water quality are issues for the farming community of Capertee Valley.  Aquifers under the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area (SCA) could be ruptured thus reducing the flow to bores and flow in surface creeks such as Genowlan and Emu Creeks.  Both these creeks begin under the area to be mined.  The prime breeding area for the endangered Regent Honeyeater is along the Capertee River into which Genowlan Creek flows.  Farming includes beef cattle, sheep, horses,alpacas, goats and fodder crops.

Tourism is a growing industry in the Capertee Valley and any disruption could set this back.  Particularly of concern are visual impacts to the SCA, people access to the SCA and destruction of bird habitat which supports a number of endangered species such as the Regent Honeyeater and the Swift Parrot.

We wonder why Centennial Coal shut down the nearby fully functional ‘Angus Place’ mine of over 250 employees in favour of the small limited function ‘Airly’ mine using 60 miners.

Thank you for considering this submission as an objection to the Airly Mine Extension Project.

Yours sincerely,

17 September, 2015

Focus on water quality in the Capertee Valley

Focus on water quality in the Capertee Valley

Saturday 10 October, Glen Alice Hall/Umbiella Creek
 10.00am  Agness Knapik, Environmental Scientist presents a review of existing data concerning water quality in the Capertee Valley
 10.30am Bruce Christie from Mudgee LLS will explain about water quality and how to test for it then take us down to Umbiella Creek  where we’ll carry out some hands on activities. There’ll be kits available for participants to use to try it out for themselves.
We’ll be testing for a variety of water quality parameters including temperature, pH, electrical conductivity and turbidity, and doing a macroinvertebrate (water bug) survey.
Suitable for all ages.
 12.30pm lunch at hall
 1pm AGM for Capertee Valley Landcare Inc (Moved from 2pm as originally advertised)
Hats and sturdy footwear needed.
Please let us know if you are coming. Reply to this message.Julie GibsonCapertee Valley Landcare

02 6379 7317
Mobile: 0412 699 674

16 September, 2015

Airly Mine Extension Project Review - write to the Planning Assessment Commission

You may edit this guide to put your concerns to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) in your own words. 
Once you are happy, press submit. If you want the Gardens of Stone Alliance to keep  you up to date, then select that option at the bottom of the form.
The proposed expansion of Airly Colliery, a 1.8Mt/year bord and pillar mine, will be subject to a review hearing by the Planning Assessment Commission.The proposal has wound mining intensity back from the original 1993 approval but unless further amended it will damage core values of the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area in the Gardens of Stone region. This review provides you an opportunity to prevent environmental damage caused by this mine.

Click the link here to read more and to go to the suggested letter. 

 Edit the letter shown there to reflect your own thoughts. 

Other issues which could be included are water, water quality, tourism and farming.


Some of the beautiful pagodas in the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area

Is this the effect of subsidence due to mining?
Photo below taken  South of the Capertee Valley towards Lithgow.

08 September, 2015

The importance of the Capertee River to the long-term survival of the critically endangered Regent honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia.

The Capertee River flows west to east, joining the Wolgan River at their confluence in Newnes. The river is fed by a number of minor tributaries in the upper reaches and forms part of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. From the upper reaches of Bogee River to Glen Davis, the Capertee river flows through the Capertee Valley, which is internationally recognised and designated as an important bird area (IBA) by BirdLife International. This designation is principally due to the fact that the Capertee Valley is the core breeding range of the critically endangered Regent honeyeater. Once distributed throughout south eastern Australia from south Queensland to Adelaide, the species has suffered a major and ongoing population decline and associated range contraction. Current population estimates suggest there may be only 300-400 birds remaining. The Capertee Valley is now recognised as the core of the species’ breeding range, and is the only site in Australia where the species can be seen on a semi-regular basis.
The Regent honeyeater is a ‘rich patch specialist.’ This means that for successful breeding to occur, individuals must locate rich sources of nectar with which to provision young, in habitat that provides dense cover to conceal nests from predators. The most important breeding site for regent honeyeaters in the Capertee Valley is the banks of the river itself. This riparian habitat of river she-oak Casuarina cunninghamii provides the nesting substrate required by regent honeyeaters. The stretch of the river in the vicinity of Genowlan bridge holds breeding birds in most years, (including the present year), as does the open valley floor of the Capertee National Park. The riparian habitat is also of vital importance because the river she-oaks play host to a species of needle-leaf mistletoe, Amyema cambagei. The flowers of the needle leaf mistletoe are another important nectar source for breeding regent honeyeaters. The river itself provides their only source of drinking and bathing water. During hot weather, birds can be seen frequently taking water from the river, and bathing to help regulate body temperature.  A regular supply of water is likely to become increasingly important for breeding Regent honeyeaters given projected climate change scenarios. In addition, the river provides a bountiful supply of invertebrate fauna, which is an important source of protein for both adult and young birds. It is highly likely that the abundance of insects in the vicinity of the river is determined by the presence of water in the river. Also critical to the successful breeding of the regent honeyeater in the valley is the flowering of a small number of key eucalyptus species, in particular Yellow box E.melliodora, White box E.albens and Mugga ironbark E.sideroxylon. It is widely appreciated that the frequency and intensity of flowering in these species is moderated by soil moisture content; periods of low soil moisture are associated with poor flowering events, which in turn moderates the frequency of breeding opportunities of the Regent honeyeater.
Given the importance of the riparian habitat of the Capertee valley described, any drop in the water levels in the Capertee River is highly likely to have a significant detrimental impact upon the long-term persistence of the Regent honeyeater in the wild. A reduction in water levels is likely to reduce both the frequency and intensity of flowering in nearby eucalyptus species, as well as in the long-term persistence of both the river she-oak and needle-leaf mistletoe. Lack of access to water during the breeding season may either result directly in mortality of offspring during hot weather or indirectly by increasing the risk of nest predation if parents are forced to commute further from the nest to obtain water. Alternatively, it may also inhibit the initiation of breeding altogether. A reduction in invertebrate fauna in foraging areas of breeding regent honeyeaters would also limit the protein resources to provision chicks, which could either cause offspring mortality of have negative effects on the long-term health of the birds. In summary, a regular and plentiful supply of water in the Capertee river is fundamental to the functioning of the entire ecosystem, of which the regent honeyeater plays a critical part.

06 September, 2015

Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area Draft Plan of Management

From: Kathy Carter [mailto:Kathy.Carter@environment.nsw.gov.au]
Sent: Friday, 4 September 2015 4:44 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Inviting comments to the Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area Draft Plan of Management


Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area Draft Plan of Management

A draft plan of management for the above park has been prepared and is on exhibition until 18 December 2015. All documents can be found at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/consult/

Printed copies of the plan may be viewed at the following locations:
·        NPWS Mudgee Office (27–31 Inglis Street, Mudgee NSW)
·        NPWS Blue Mountains Region Office (Level 1, 39 Whitton Street, North Katoomba NSW)
·        NPWS Blue Mountains Heritage Centre (Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath NSW)
·        OEH’s Customer Centre (Level 14, 59–61 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW)
Public exhibition for this document is from 4 September 2015 to 18 December 2015. During this period, comments are invited by sending a submission by:
Postal address:
The Planning Officer
Mugii Murum-ban SCA
National Parks and Wildlife Service
27-31 Inglis Street, Mudgee NSW 2850
Online: follow the link Mugii Murum-ban State conservation Area and complete the online comment fields.
All submissions received by NPWS are a matter of public record and are available for public inspection upon request. Your comments on this plan may contain information that is defined as ’personal information’ under the NSW Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. The submission of personal information with your comments is voluntary. You can prevent your personal details being disclosed to members of the public by indicating in your submission that you wish your personal details to remain confidential to the NPWS.

If you have been sent this notification as a representative of an organisation or community group I would ask that you forward this email to the appropriate person for distribution to colleagues or members.

Kathy Carter
Senior Ranger Neighbour & Community Relations
Community and Stakeholder Engagement Team
Office of Environment and Heritage