A range of community members living in close proximity to Russell Vale Colliery formed a blockade on Monday morning to highlight their concerns over plans to expand the mine.
Members of Protect Our Water Alliance (POWA) and the Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Greed held large cardboard banners - and some knitted with slogans - as they stood across the entrance to the mine, at the corner of Bellambi Lane and the Princes Highway.
"The Russell Vale mine is seeking a five year expansion on their operations and that proposal is going before the Independent Planning Commission today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday)," spokesperson for POWA Rada Germanos told the Mercury.
"We're hoping to raise some more awareness about the the potential impact it would have on the [environment and on residents].
"It's the closest mine to a densely populated area in the country, which is 300 metres from pre-schools and endangering our precious water supply.
"There is also mounting evidence that the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area is being trashed."
The protesters are calling on the IPC to reject the expansion bid as well as seeking an immediate ban on all mining in the Sydney Water Catchment.
Public hearings are being conducted on Monday and Tuesday (which can be accessed online), after Planning Minister Rob Stokes referred the miner's expansion bid to the IPC.
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