20 June 2011 – media release
Secret documents reveal ports headache for Shenhua coal
Documents obtained by the Greens show that Chinese coal giant Shenhua has been in discussions with the NSW Government and port authorities to find a way to export coal from their proposed mine on the Liverpool Plains, including a Port Kembla option.
The documents (attached) obtained through a ‘call for papers’ in the NSW Parliament, reveal that Shenhua has missed out on an allocation for the Newcastle coal loader and are therefore looking at exporting the coal through Port Kembla, possibly constructing hundreds of kilometres of new rail line. To make this option viable, Shenhua would need further coal fields in Southern NSW and the NSW Government is helping to provide options for such an expansion.
“These documents show the O’Farrell government is working to assist the Shenhua Watermark project, facilitating meetings, trying to solve logistical problems at ports, and even looking for further opportunities for new coal mines,” said Greens MP, Jeremy Buckingham.
“It’s concerning that Shenhua seem to have high level government support for their mine despite fierce opposition from farmers and the community concerned about its effect on the highly productive Liverpool Plains.
“We don’t want infrastructure in NSW being determined by Bejing and the world’s largest coal company.
“In the era of climate change, we should be looking for ways to phase out polluting coal and build clean energy technologies, not facilitating an expansion of coal exports to fuel polluting coal-fired power stations in China.
“Freighting coal all the way from Gunnedah to Port Kembla is a ridiculous concept that should be abandoned.
“The last thing the Illawarra and Southern Highlands needs is this Chinese coal giant setting up shop.
Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916