Public information sessions announced by Hume Coal

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Hume Coal has announced several public information sessions about its project.

But one Highlands action group is far from satisfied.

Battle for Berrima said two of these events, scheduled during the school holidays, went against best practice community engagement principles for major development.

Hume Coal media coordinator Ben Fitzsimmons said this was the first round of community information sessions which would form part of Hume Coal’s extensive consultation program during the Environmental Impact Statement’s public exhibition period.

Battle for Berrima president Ken Wilson said the two events were scheduled in the school holidays with only eight days notice.

“Best practice community engagement normally dictates that a community is given at least two weeks notice of a consultation event on a major development project and application such as the Hume Coal Mine,” he said.

“Hume Coal has had years to prepare their EIS yet they ignore the community by scheduling consultation events in the school holidays when many families, business people and residents will be away.”

Mr Fitzsimmons said these sessions would be an inital point of contact between Hume Coal and the community.

More information sessions will be held later in the exhibition period when members of the community have had more of an opportunity to go through the EIS.

“Given that Hume Coal had been granted an exhibition period of 90 days, we see the first round of community information sessions as providing the community an early opportunity to meet and discuss their concerns with staff and experts, and to learn more about the benefits of the project for our community.,” Mr Fitzsimmon said.

The first session will be held at the Mittagong RSL on Friday, April 21 from 12pm–7pm and continue on Saturday, April 22 from 10am to 4pm.

Those looking to attend the information session are encouraged to register their interest online at www.humecoal.com.au/events