|Thoroughbred Breeders Australia welcomes the decision of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission to reject the Drayton South mine application.
The decision demonstrates that the commissioners understand the importance of the Hunter Valley as a world centre of excellence in the thoroughbred industry, as well as the vital role that Coolmore and Godolphin, the two farms that would have been directly impacted by the mine, play in the region.
“All breeders should welcome the PAC’s decision as it recognises that the Hunter is one of the most important thoroughbred regions in the world,” said Basil Nolan, President of TBA.
“If the mine had been given the go-ahead it would have damaged the reputation of the region and the Australian industry as a whole.”
Had the project been approved an open-cut mine would have been developed less than a kilometre from Coolmore and Godolphin.
TBA now calls on the state government to place clear protection zones around the key thoroughbred farms to protect the breeding industry and provide certainty to all land businesses.
Thursday’s decision is the fourth time the PAC has rejected a mine proposal for Drayton South by Anglo-American.
Tom Reilly, chief executive of TBA, said: “This saga has gone on for six years and has been incredibly divisive. For the future of all businesses in the region the state government should step in and create clear boundaries for different land use.”
He added: “Until they do that there remains the possibility that another application could be made for Drayton South, causing further uncertainty to breeders and all land users.
“While this process has dragged on, a number of overseas operations have set up in Australia, though none have chosen to base themselves in the Hunter Valley. We hope the PAC’s decision, combined with clarification from the state government around future land use, will see the thoroughbred industry in the Hunter grow.”
TBA would also like to congratulate the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association who have fought so hard against the mine proposal.
For more information contact Tom Reilly on 0423 146 334.