Bylong Project EIS on exhibition

Over 3,000 pages.

That’s the total size of KEPCO’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed Bylong Coal Project – a major new proposed mine development in the upper reaches of the Hunter River catchment.

Comprising eight separate volumes and an executive summary, the EIS went on exhibition today for a period of just 6 weeks, during which time members of the public are invited to understand and respond to the massive document.

“It’s a hell of a lot of stuff to try and wade through,” says Bylong Valley Protection Alliance BVPA secretary Craig Shaw.

“How on earth the Government expects small groups like ours to effectively respond to such large and complex documents in the given timeframe is beyond me.

“Maybe that’s the whole point.”

The BVPA has recently launched a crowd-funding program, “Battle for Bylong” to raise the money necessary to engage key consultants to help with the organisation’s response. The group is aiming to raise a total of $25,000.

“Compared with the amount and time and money that KEPCO have expended putting their EIS together, it’s not much.

“It won’t cover everything, but it should at least allow us to address the key areas of concern that we have, which are water and the destruction of prime agricultural land.”

Mr Shaw says it’s important for people and organisations like the BVPA to scrutinise what’s being put forward and make their views known.

“If people like us don’t put in the effort to lodge a serious response then the only thing the government gets to see is what the miner themselves has put in.

“And as we’ve seen recently with the NSW Department of Trade and Investment’s investigation of KEPCO for the alleged use of false photos in an exploration application,  it's a mistake for the Government  to take what KEPCO says at face value.”

The Bylong Project’s EIS is on exhibition until Friday, 6th November, 2015. Further information is available on the Department of Planning’s major projects website.

This set of images is available for use. Suggested captions: KEPCO’s Bylong EIS runs to over 3000 pages in 8 volumesor BVPA Secretary, Craig Shaw, with KEPCO’s EIS

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