Miners say land use numbers don’t add up

THE day thousands of protesters marched on Parliament House calling for changes to strategic land use plans, the NSW Minerals Council countered with statistics it said proved opposition to the plan was ‘‘misinformation’’.

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NSW Minerals Council chief executive officer Stephen Galilee said yesterday the council had created a website featuring facts about land use and mining ‘‘in response to misinformation’’ publicised by opponents of the plan.

‘‘We’ve maintained a good working relationship with the agricultural sector,’’ Mr Galilee said.

‘‘These land use plans shouldn’t be about choosing between one industry or another.

‘‘Responsibly developed and properly regulated, all industries should be able to coexist and prosper.’’

The council took out full-page ads in Sydney metropolitan newspapers yesterday that said mining operations occupied 0.1 per cent of land in NSW.

Mr Galilee said this compared with 76 per cent for agriculture, 3.7 per cent for forestry and 1.8 per cent for urban and rural-residential.

He said Australian National Water Accounts in 2009-10 showed mining accounted for 1.4 per cent of water use in NSW, with most being reused or recycled, while agriculture used 49.2 per cent.

Coal Services statistics showed that in the past seven years there had been three new mines.

‘‘The overblown rhetoric and misinformation from anti-mining political groups is only designed to talk down mining and derail the land use planning process,’’ Mr Galilee said.

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