The Coal Terminal Action Group (CTAG) is an alliance of Newcastle and Hunter community groups formed in response to the proposal to build a fourth coal terminal in Newcastle, Australia.
The proponent is Port Waratah Coal Services. The new coal terminal (T4) would have capacity for 70 million tonnes per year of coal if approved, massively increasing Newcastle coal exports. The coal stockpiles would not be covered, resulting in more dust pollution blowing onto portside suburbs from Stockton to Mayfield. The new coal terminal would result in more than 100 additional uncovered coal trains travelling through Newcastle every day, if approved. This would mean more coal dust and diesel pollution for communities along the coal rail line.
The new coal terminal would result in at least 20 more ships entering Newcastle Harbour, every week, if approved. Producing the coal for the terminal would require approximately 15 new large open-cut coal mines in the Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin. This would mean destruction of forests and agricultural land, and polluted water. The new coal terminal would be developed on 279 hectares of land on Kooragang Island and Ash Island, if approved. This would destroy internationally significant wetlands and bird habitat.
To proceed, the project needs approved from both the NSW and Federal Governments. Let's make sure that doesn't happen.
Urgent: PAC Hearing Announced for the 4th Coal Terminal
On the 13th July, the proposal to build a yet another massive new coal terminal in Newcastle will be before the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) for the final time.
Last year, we staged the biggest turn-out in NSW history for a PAC Public Hearing, when more than 120 people stood up to tell the Commissioners that T4 has no place in Hunter's economic future.
Yet despite continuing community opposition and the evidence of unacceptable impacts on community health, the environment and our climate, the State and Commonwealth Governments are poised to give the green light to T4.
Why you should speak at the PAC
The hearing on the 13th July is one of our last remaining opportunities to have input into the planning assessment of this project, and we need your help to make it count. This is the best chance we have left to prevent T4 from getting its approval and a major opportunity to act to protect community health, our environment, our climate and our region.
That's why we need you to add your voice to the community campaign against the T4 project. The Commissioners need to hear from people who are passionate about the wellbeing of our region and the global environment, and want to work towards a clean energy future. You don't need to be an expert for your voice to count.
A powerful community presence will ensure that the Commissioners leave knowing that T4 isn't needed by industry and isn't wanted by the community. At a time when the rest of the world is rapidly moving away from fossil fuels, the approval of T4 will lock up precious and limited portside land in Newcastle’s port that we could use to transition our economy away from carbon addiction. T4 will facilitate new and expanding coal mines in the Hunter Valley and Gunnedah Basin, like those being pushed at Maules Creek and the one threatening to swallow the township of Bulga. These are the real costs of T4 – destroyed remnant bushland, devoured agricultural land, saline and acidified aquifers, and distressed and displaced communities.
It's up to us: we need to provide the Commissioners with the evidence and information they need to confidently say ‘NO’ to approval. It's not just about expert testimony. It's also about the real stories from people like you who will lose so much if this project goes ahead.
What can you do?
1. Register to speak at the Public Meeting:
Anyone can speak at the Public Meeting. You only need to register with the Commission beforehand, and you will be allowed give a 5-10 minute presentation on your concerns about the proposal. This is one of the few chances that the community has to have input into the T4 planning process. It is vital that we take this opportunity to have our say.
To register, follow the instructions at: http://www.hcec.org.au/t4_determination_pac
2. Make a donation to support the campaign:
We urgently need funds to build the campaign at this pivotal moment. If you can't come to the Public Meeting, this is the best way to show your support. Click here to make a donation today.
3. Join the public demonstration at the opening of the PAC:
We'll be holding a vibrant and determined public demonstration to kick off the Public Meeting into T4, and to welcome the Commissioners to Newcastle. Join us at Fort Scratchley at 8am on Monday 13th July and stand together with people from all across NSW who are speaking up to say no to more coal, more mines, more dust and more pollution. RSVP on Facebook here.
4. Come along to show your support:
PAC Public Meetings are open to the public so everyone is welcome to attend. It is not necessary to register to attend, only those wishing to speak must register.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to speak at the Public Meeting, you MUST register before 1pm on Thursday, 9 July 2015. To register, simply phone: (02) 9383 2112 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org (in your email, you only need to provide your name and phone number so your registration can be confirmed)
If you are keen to speak to the public hearing but need some help, contact John Mackenzie at the Hunter Community Environment Centre on 0405 433 550. You can also come along to our PAC Preparation Workshops, where you'll have a chance for you to prepare and rehearse your PAC presentation in a supportive environment. A mix of novices and seasoned PAC presenters will be on hand to provide advice and support. Find out about the workshops here.
Presenting at the PAC is a powerful way to act to protect community health, our environment, our climate and the economic future of our region.
We hope you will join us there.