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Monday, 29 May 2006
Page: 23

Ms HOARE (1:51 PM) —I rise this afternoon to congratulate the residents of West Lake Macquarie in their win in opposing an open-cut coalmine that was proposed for Awaba by Centennial Coal in our region. There was a long and hard-fought community battle to oppose this coalmine. I am pleased to say that Centennial Coal has withdrawn its application for this open-cut coalmine. The open-cut coalmine would have had major detrimental environmental effects as well as having a huge impact on the health of students at local schools.

I congratulate the organisers of the two major committees that were formed—SCAM, South Lakes Communities Against Mine, and NOCMFA, No Open Cut Mine For Awaba. I also place on the record my congratulations to my good friend and state colleague Jeff Hunter, the member for Lake Macquarie, on the fight that he took, alongside the community, to the state government on this issue.

We have a long and proud tradition of coalmining in our area. We support underground coalmining and the workers in those coalmines and the families of those workers. But the proposal for an open-cut coalmine right on the edge of pristine Lake Macquarie would have been very damaging for the area, and it is fantastic news that Centennial Coal has withdrawn its proposal. We continue to support them in being a good local citizen. (Time expired)