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The Department of Planning and Environment has issued $15,000 penalties to two separate Illawarra coal mines, the maximum fine under state planning law.


Department investigations found that Metropolitan Colliery failed to comply with noise limits and NRE Wongawilli Mine did not properly undertake community consultation, as required in the approval conditions.


Dr Oliver Holm, Executive Director of Resources Assessments and Compliance, said the state government applies conditions of development consent to protect the environment and the community.


“The owners of Metropolitan Colliery, Helensburgh Coal, did not meet their noise limit obligations at four locations surrounding the mine site,” Dr Holm said.


“In response to the enforcement action, the company has begun assessing how to minimise noise for nearby residences and voluntarily agreed to re-assess the mine’s noise emissions under NSW Government policies.


“NRE Wongawilli Mine operator, Wollongong Coal, failed to undertake the required three community consultative committee (CCC) meetings during 2017.


“CCC meetings are an important forum for the community and representatives of the mine to meet and share information or discuss any issues in relation to the project, and are required under the project’s approval.


“Wollongong Coal arranged a CCC meeting in October in response to the Department’s investigation.”


Dr Holm said the Department’s compliance officers actively monitor major project sites around the state to ensure companies are meeting their development conditions.


“We also encourage the community to reach out to the Department with concerns about major projects near them.”


Read the Department’s latest monthly compliance report.


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