THE position that the NSW Minerals Council has taken with respect to the proposal to change the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy that made the economics of a proposal the main consideration is hypocritical in my view (‘‘Planning backflip denied’’ Herald 15/7).
Planning Minister Rob Stokes proposes a return to the triple bottom line where economics, social and environmental concerns are examined before a mining approval is granted.
Minerals Council chief Stephen Galilee is arguing for only the current economics being the principal criterion because Rio Tinto had its application to extend the Mount Thorley-Warkworth Mine rejected by both the Land and Environment Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal on the triple-bottom-line criteria.
After the courts’ decisions, the SEPP changed from the three criteria to make economics the primary consideration, courtesy of favouritism by the then Minister Chris Hartcher, a situation that was very much supported by the Minerals Council. But, in 2012, the Minerals Council’s own submission argued for the triple-bottom-line approach.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot get the mining SEPP changed at will, just to suit different proposals.