Senator Lee Rhiannon was at the proposed Bickham mine site on Saturday to listen to locals raise their concerns about its reopening.
While there she went for a walk from the top of the hill behind the
homestead to see the overburden.
Senator Rhiannon is concerned about the bulk sampling of 25,000 tonnes of coal extracted from the site nearly ten years ago.
“The exploration licence has been misused,” she said.
“There is a large volume of coal extracted without an Environmental Impact Statement.
This site could then become the entry point for the proposed
underground mine,” she said.
The NSW senator said there should not be any new or expanded mines in the area.
Those in attendance for her visit raised the issue of uncovered train loads of coal carted through the Upper Hunter and complained of air
pollution problems as a result.
Senator Rhiannon said she will be talking to her colleagues in federal parliament and is pushing for a
comprehensive health study on the impacts of mines.
“There should not be detrimental health impacts associated with the movement of coal,” she said.
Senator Rhiannon said she would also be raising the issue of the need for an underpass or overpass to be made in Scone as a result of the long haulage of coal trains dividing the town in two.