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Departmental Media Release

Ashton Coal Mine fined for breaches

  • Date: 05.04.2017
  • Type: Departmental Media Release
  • Author: Department of Planning and Environment

A coal mine in the Upper Hunter has been fined $15,000 by the Department of Planning and Environment for breaching conditions relating to a community complaints handling system, a February compliance report shows.

Dr Oliver Holm, Executive Director of Resource Assessments and Compliance, said Ashton Coal, near Singleton, failed to publish a Complaints Register online and maintain a 24-hour community complaints phone line.

"The conditions highlight the importance of keeping the local Hunter community informed about the project," Dr Holm said.

"This compliance investigation was a direct response to a community complaint and we encourage members of the public to contact us with any concerns about major projects.
"While the company has cooperated with our investigation, and has now addressed the required conditions, it must now pay the $15,000 penalty."

Dr Holm said compliance officers actively monitor mines, quarries, and a range of other major project sites in the Hunter Region and the rest of NSW by undertaking unannounced surveillance, site visits, audits, and following-up complaints.

"Our job is to make sure companies are meeting their conditions of approval and follow the planning rules, to protect the local environment and community."

The Department’s February compliance report shows five penalties worth a total $75,000 were issued and more than 100 major project sites were visited, with most operators and developers found to be compliant after the inspection.
Read the February report on the Department's website.



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