Proposed Rocky Hill coalmine in the spotlight

THE controversial Rocky Hill open cut coalmine proposal near Gloucester is in the spotlight today.

NSW Planning and Infrastructure director of mining and industry David Kitto is in Gloucester for talks with community opponents of the proposal.

Mr Kitto will meet representatives of the group Gloucester Residents In Partnership, or GRIP, this afternoon to address questions about the Gloucester Resources proposal.

Earlier today, he will have talks with the Rocky Hill community consultative committee, which includes company representatives.

GRIP’s spokeswoman Di Montague said the group had sent Mr Kitto 20 questions that she hoped he would respond to this afternoon.

‘‘The first question is how can we stop the mine,’’ Ms Montague said.

Gloucester Resources is proposing to establish the Rocky Hill open cut on the outskirts of Gloucester and if approved, the mine will be as close as 900 metres from the nearest residences.

Gloucester Resources has offered more than $800,000 a year once the mine is in full production for a community fund.

Gloucester Shire Council opposes the project and there is strong community opposition to it because of its proximity to the township.

NSW Planning and Infrastructure director general Sam Haddad has issued his requirements for the company to provide in its environmental impact statement.

Among them are company assessments of how the project will impact on the area’s scenic qualities.

The company has said the environmental impact statement should be ready later this year.

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