LETTER: Anglo American mine's powerful connections

I AM alarmed that 1360 hectares of forest and productive farmland are threatened by one of the world's largest coalmines at Maules Creek, approved last week by the Liberal-National government ("Mine given go-ahead" Herald 26/10).

The chairman of Whitehaven Coal, which owns Maules Creek, is Mark Vaile, former deputy PM and leader of the Nationals.

The deputy chairman, John Conde, is also the president of the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal, which sets the salaries of federal politicians.

The NSW lobbyist register shows Whitehaven board member Liam Bathgate lobbied the Department of Planning five times last year for the Maules Creek mine. He is a former Nationals general secretary and former chief of staff to Barry O'Farrell.

Jonathan Moylan, Hamilton

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