Wollongong Coal, recently released from the pressure of a "fit and proper" investigation by the state's Resources Regulator, will soon have a public hearing into its plans to expand its Russell Vale colliery.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes has referred the miner's Russell Vale colliery expansion bid to the Independent Planning Commission, with a 12-week deadline after the department's assessment report is received.
But the project shouldn't be considered while the miner still hasn't met obligations from its previous approvals, Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining member Gavin Workman said.
"They were required to realign the Bellambi Creek to protect it from flooding and pollution by October 2012 but were unable to fulfill this condition due to lack of finances," he said.
"The coal from [before] has been mined and sold by the proponent but it has not met its obligations.
"What guarantee does the community have that Wollongong Coal can and is able to fulfill its conditions under any future approval?
The coal has been mined and sold but it has not met its obligationsGavin Workman
"We have seen numerous conditions removed or significantly altered at this Russell Vale mine and frankly we are losing faith in the whole NSW planning process. We lost confidence in Wollongong Coal's ability to perform years ago and do not believe they have the capability to mine safely under our water catchment."
Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesman Nic Clyde said the project should not have reached this point because the company was a "financial basket case".
Wollongong Coal has not informed investors of this development via the Australian Securities Exchange, from which it is seeking to be delisted.
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