In November 2013 The Australia Institute made a submission on the application to modify the consent conditions of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth mine, near Singleton in the Hunter Valley, NSW. This modification allows the mine to expand into areas that the Land and Environment Court had disallowed, as the economic benefits of doing so did not outweigh the social and environmental costs.
Two members of The Australia Institute gave evidence on the economics of the Warkworth project in the Land and Environment Court. It was, and still is, our opinion that the benefits of the project do not outweigh its costs.
The key point of our written submission was that no further economic assessment was provided to show why the Court was incorrect either overall or in relation to the area of the application. We also travelled to Singleton in December 2013 to present our submission in person to the Planning and Assessment Commission.
An addendum to the Environmental Impact Statement for the consent modification was provided only days before the Planning and Assessment Commission hearing. We made a further submission on this addendum in January 2014.