Battle for Berrima has urged Boral to reconsider after the company declined to attend a community briefing session next month.
Boral did not attend the community briefing in May by Dr Ian Wright, the EPA and the Mine Closure regulator and it will not attend another briefing session to be held on June 7.
A Boral spokesman said the company thanked Battle for Berrima for its invitation but believed there was already a process being established to include the community it its consultation with the state government on the permanent closure of the disused mine.
“That process is through the Closure Working Group (CWG), which, as previously announced, will have five community representatives,” he said.
”We have called for Expressions of Interest from local residents and businesses to join the Closure Working Group, which will be able to determine the most effective and inclusive way to consult with the local community. The invitation is there for Battle for Berrima to put forward a candidate to sit on the group.”
But Battle for Berrima vice president Michael Verberkt said there were still many questions the community needed answers to including:
- How Boral is responding to the EPA’s directive to find a permanent solution?
- How long the interim measure put in place can be expected to function adequately as the company searches for a ‘in perpetuity’ solution?
- Why Boral did not warn the community that polluted water was discharging into the local river system and Sydney Water Catchment?
- Is it technologically possible to deliver a permanent solution or will the legacy be ongoing pollution of some level for generations to come?
- What are the risks associated with some of the proposed solutions including a full permanent seal of the mine?
“We are at a loss to understand why Boral is refusing to brief the community on what is happening at the Medway Colliery,” Mr Verberkt said.
“We are very conscious that Boral has undertaken to widen membership of its ‘Mine Closure Group’ however that is a very small part of the much wider community information and engagement actions that they should be undertaking.
“The community deserves the respect of being briefed directly on the impacts of this issue and on the steps that Boral is taking.”
The closing date for Expressions of Interest for the Closure Working Group will be May 31.
Residents can find more information about the CWG at https://www.boral.com.au/medway