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‘Stick to the facts’

Ms Springett’s recent attack on Hume Coal and its parent company (SHN, 08/12/2017) was another attempt by those opposed to the project to generate fear and mistrust with total disregard for the facts. Claims the Hume Coal project is a “mega-mine” are incorrect. Even Coal Free Southern Highlands in its submission to the NSW government said “The Hume Coal project is a relatively small … green fields project.”

Ms Springett also claims the Hume Coal project would have detrimental effects on the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment. On the contrary. The facts are the Hume Coal project is designed for zero discharge of coal stockpile water (all water coming in contact with the coal stockpile is captured for beneficial re-use around the site) and will not discharge mine water to waterways post-closure. Like a few other locals and council Ms Springett chooses to ignore these facts, along with the inconvenient truth (raised in the NSW Government audit of the Sydney drinking water catchment) of the serious impact on water quality from water and sewage infrastructure within the Wingecarribee Shire.

By far the most spurious claims made by Ms Springett are that Hume Coal and its parent company POSCO, will be supplying coal to North Korea “firing the production of North Korea’s nuclear missiles”. POSCO is one of Australia’s largest customers, purchasing $5 to $7 billion of Australia’s raw materials per annum and has been a valued and respected trading partner of Australia for many decades. The Rajin-Khasan trade project was established in an attempt to strengthen relationships between Russia, DPRK and South Korea. In 2016, the project was put on hold indefinitely. 

If approved, coal produced by Hume Coal will be available for both domestic and international markets, will incorporate an operating expenditure of $2.4 billion over the life of the project and generate 300 full-time and long-term employment opportunities for residents of the Southern Highlands.

Ms Springett’s letter is yet another case of scaremongering, designed to confuse or mislead the community regarding the real intentions of the Hume Coal project. We sincerely hope all stakeholders can stick to the facts regarding the project to ensure a meaningful, sensible and progressive discussion regarding the project.

Greig Duncan

Hume Coal – Project Director