Submission – Hunter Valley Operations coal mine expansion

by Rod Campbell

The Australia Institute made a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement of the Hunter Valley Operations coal mine expansion proposal. Our submission focuses on the economic assessment of the project, written by Ernst and Young (EY). EY’s assessment overstates the benefits of the project and understates its costs. It is not suitable for decision-making purposes.

EY claims that the expansion plans represent a net present value (NPV) to the NSW community of $4.8 billion. This is, as far as we are aware, the highest estimated net benefit of a coal project in NSW planning history. The fact that such an estimate is being presented at a time when bodies such as the International Energy Agency and the United Nations have called for an end to new coal projects altogether, highlights that decision-makers cannot rely on EY’s analysis.

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