Tahmoor Coal refutes recent claims made by the Member for Wollondilly that it had jeopardised the futures of its staff by pursuing the Tahmoor South Project; our intention is the opposite.

The fact is, the current coking coal supply will be exhausted in 18 months and without this project, more than 400 current jobs and 150 job opportunities to be created during construction will be lost in an economically challenging environment.

Coking coal mining has a long history in this community; countless local businesses have been built and grown with us in the Wollondilly Shire. Their futures are also at risk if the Shire loses one of its largest employers. Independent projections show an approved mine will see more than $130 million injected into the Wollondilly Shire, where these businesses operate.

We will also continue to provide funding for initiatives like the Community Pantry and have proposed a $3.4 million contribution to the upgrade of the Bargo Sportsground.

We understand communities evolve and we have listened. We’ve amended our mine plan to reduce homes directly mined under by 80 percent, significantly reducing the effects of potential subsidence, particularly in the township of Bargo.

The DPIE’s report estimates there could be a potential offer of acquisition for 22 properties, it does not say these homes will certainly be damaged.

We’ve mined under 1890 properties on Tahmoor North and only eight requested we acquire them, reaffirming that properties have been built to meet subsidence specifications since the area was declared a mining subsidence zone in 1975.

As Government bodies, the DPIE and Subsidence Advisory NSW employ independent experts which, following their studies, have supported the bodies’ recommendations. Mr Smith’s recent comments are at odds with these recommendations.

We’ve requested meetings with Mr Smith to directly discuss his recent concerns and hope to soon. We’ve enjoyed constructive working relationships with local MP’s and councillors for 40 years, built on an understanding of our employment of local people, our local economic contribution and our continued support of community initiatives.

We’ve shown during the planning process we are committed to delivering a balanced project, which secures a sustainable future for our workers and local suppliers, while also minimising impacts to local residents and the environment. We look forward to making our case to the Independent Planning Commission next month.

For more information on this media release, please contact:

GFG Alliance Media and External Communications Manager, Matt Johnston, on 0438 294 377