PAC approved times 6am to 10pm and through to 1am

1. Nov, 2012
PAC letter dated 1st November 2012. The ICAG Inc. Merits appeal Vs Planning Dept & Gloucester Coal including Duralie Coal including Stratford Coal.

The Land & Environment Court Judge Preston upheld the ICAG Inc. Court Case, though approved the continued operation till 2021.

Judge Preston in two conditions regarding train noise and train dust set down conditions that Duralie Coal was to provide additional noise mitigation measures to five residences R8to R12.

and Judge Preston understood that people were already being impacted by the train noise and train dust and kept the times at 7am to 10pm for shuttle train movements. He stated that Gloucester Coal would need to justify to extend train hours from 6am to 1am (following morning).

Judge Preston also recognised and made comment, that if coal was carried by trucks on the road, they would need to be covered, though he did not impose a condition.

The project was referred to the Commission (PAC) from Planning & Investment (Planning Dept.), to determine on 14 September 2012, as Planning Department was recommending approval.

Mrs Gabrielle Kibble AO and Mr Brian Gilligan were nominated as the Commission Members. Mrs Gabrielle Kibble chaired the meeting, over the 2 days held at Stroud. Thursday night 18 October 2012 and Friday morning 19 October 2012.

On 14th September 2012, the Commission received the DG's report. The report provided an assessment of key issues including justification for the proposal, consideration of alternatives and noise impacts. The report also considered dust impacts, the level of consultation and non compliance with the existing rail curfew.

The majority of submissions received from the general public and special interest groups objected to the proposal. The key areas of concern included insufficient justification for the proposal, noise impacts, dust impacts, lack of consultation and non compliance (trains breaking curfew).

Yet PAC has approved train times to extend by breaking the 6am to 1am (following morning) into 3 parts a, b and c.

The Commission has amended Condition 8 so that the proponent (Yancoal) can:-
a) only dispatch shuttle trains from the site between 6am and 10pm
b) only receive shuttle trains on site between 6am and midnight and
c) only operate shuttle trains on the North Coast railway between midnight and 1am in exceptional circumstances.

The Commission has added a clause "Exceptional Circumstances".
Circumstances when ARTC determines that the shuttle train must operate on the North Coast railway between midnight and 1am because there have been significant disruptions to the services on the railway over the last 12 hours, or where there have been power outages at either the Stratford or Duralie mines that have materially affected the operation of the shuttle train on the North Coast Railway.

ICAG Inc. will have a further statement coming forward and many questions for PAC to answer.

Amanda Albury