Independent Planning Commission to listen to community’s views on proposed Dartbrook Coal Mine modification at Muswellbrook public meeting next month

THE Independent Planning Commission (IPC) will listen to the community’s views on the proposed Dartbrook Coal Mine modification at a public meeting at Muswellbrook next month.

The forum – from 10am in the Atherstone Room of the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music on Tuesday, April 9 – is open to everyone, however if any resident would like to speak in front of the panel they must register their interest before 5pm on Monday, April 1.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment recently completed its evaluation of the Dartbrook Coal Mine – Modification 7 (DA 231-7-2000 MOD7) and referred it to the IPC for determination, after receiving an application from AQC Dartbrook Management Pty Ltd.

The mine, which is located southwest of Aberdeen, has been in care and maintenance since 2006.

The modification proposes to restart underground mining on the site, using only bord and pillar methods – and with a varied coal clearance system.

During the exhibition of the application, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment received 42 objections, including one from Upper Hunter Shire Council.

But, based on its assessment, the department considered the modification "approvable", subject to strict conditions.

The three-member IPC panel, appointed by commission chair Professor Mary O’Kane AC, to determine the state-significant development application comprises Professor Zada Lipman, Ross Carter and Peter Cochrane.

“Because there’s been so much interest in this proposal, we’re holding a public meeting to listen carefully to the community’s views,” a spokesperson said.

“This will be the last chance to comment on the department’s assessment report before our independent experts make a final decision.

“And, because we know some people find public speaking trying, and there will be others who cannot attend on the day, we’ll accept written comments up to one week after the public meeting.

“Written comments are weighed the same as spoken presentations.”

The department’s final assessment report is on the website,, under D549/19 Dartbrook Coal Mine Modification 7.

Other relevant documents are accessible at under DA 231-7-2000 MOD 7.

To express your opinion at the April 9 meeting, complete a registration form and email it to