The New South Wales Department of Planning & Environment has released the results of a recent audit of forest clearance activities around Whitehaven Coal’s Boggabri, Tarrawonga and Maules Creek coal mines. The Leard State Forest Coal Mines Clearing Audit was undertaken in response to community concerns.
“In general, all three projects in the precinct – Boggabri mine, Tarrawonga mine and Maules Creek mine – were found to be operating at a high-level of compliance with the clearing commitments in their biodiversity management plants (BMPs),” a department spokesperson said.
Two minor non-compliances were observed and Maules Creek and Tarrawonga.
At Maules Creek, compliance officers found an unmaintained sediment fence and inappropriate sediment controls in the clearing area. The operators were advised of this and activities were stopped until adequate controls were in place. “This non-compliance has been recorded by the department,” the spokesperson said.
The department also issued a warning letter to Tarrawonga for “failing to gain approval from the Office of Environment and Heritage for their Translocation Strategy as required by their BMP.”
“Our compliance officers will follow-up with the three mines throughout the year to ensure the minor non-compliances are addressed and any opportunities for improvement can be considered prior to next year’s clearing window,” the spokesperson concluded.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.