News from BCAG

24th of November 2009
Sydney Morning Herald on the protest parade

SOME of the country's biggest thoroughbred studs are leading a protest against a coal-mining company that wants to operate in the breeding heartland of the Hunter Valley. A protest march will be held at Scone on Saturday in a show of opposition to Bickham Coal, which is seeking to develop an open-cut thermal coal mine in the Upper Hunter.

Arrowfield Stud proprietor John Messara said the studs were not opposed to all coal mining in the region but fear this one poses a threat to their livelihoods. ''What we're saying is we understand the importance of coal mining to the state, to the country, etcetera, but surely two industries can co-exist so that coal mining can proceed where it's not going to destroy the horse business,'' Messara said.

''We are only talking about those ones which are going to impact us seriously and the one we are particularly protesting against is the Bickham Coal Mine. It is so close to two highly valuable water courses and studs like Arrowfield, Darley, Vinery and Patinack Farm would be put at risk if there was water contamination or a significant reduction of water levels.

The risk is too high.'' Along with the contamination issue, Messara said one of his primary concerns was the amount of dust that would be generated by the mine. He fears that could lead to respiratory problems in young horses.

Along with the nation's major thoroughbred studs, the Hunter region is also the headquarters for the Australian Stockhorse Society and has a large equine population, while the town of Scone is known as the ''horse capital of Australia''.

Representatives of the studs met with NSW Planning Minister Kristina Keneally several weeks ago to discuss their concerns. Messara was happy they received a fair hearing and said whether or not the mine was granted approval to operate was largely in the Government's hands.

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27th of November 2009
Newcastle Herald

Hunter riders saddle up to defend horse capital
Battle of Bickham
View full article (pdf)

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Thursday 22nd of May 2008
Community Opposition Building to New Mine

Several new Billboards have sprung up across the Upper Hunter in a demonstration of growing concern for the future of the region.

Category: General, Water, Coal.

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Wednesday 21st of May 2008
Signs of the time - group speaks out about mine

SEVERAL new billboards across the Upper Hunter have been rejuvenated in a bid to further push the anti Bickham coal-mine message.

Category: General

 

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28th November 2009 - Scone
Protest Parade in Scone,
28th November 2009.
View pictorial.

 

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