World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Australian coal giants breach operating conditions

Coal giants breach operating conditions: wind covers Hunter in coal dust

Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said despite vicious winds over the weekend whipping up huge plumes of coal dust in the Hunter Valley, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Anglo Coal failed to comply with conditions of operation that require the use of water to dampen the dust.

All open cut coal mines in the Upper Hunter kept up operations on the weekend, despite fierce winds sending a cloud of dust down the Hunter Valley, that created health risks and obscuring visibility on local roads, Ms Rhiannon said.

BHP Billiton at Mount Arthur thumbed its nose at conditions of operation that require automatically activated water sprays be used on bins where mined coal is deposited to dampen dust at the mining site.

The Greens understand at least four complaints were received but operations kept up regardless.

Coal mining also kept up unabated at Rio Tintos Bengalla operations and Anglo Coals Drayton operations.

At Scone Airport, about 30km from Mt Arthur, wind reached a gust speed of 104km an hour three times between 3.20 and 3.40 pm yesterday.

No mountain ranges or wooded areas lie between the airport and coal mines that would reduce this wind force.

BHP Billiton just posted a record $13 m annual profit. But it seems it and other wealthy companies couldnt be bothered to protect the health of local communities by acting to reduce this dangerous dust cloud.

People living in Mussellbrook and surrounding areas are at risk of respiratory diseases from this dust but face the inaction of coal companies and the NSW government.

The government should be cracking down on these kinds of blatant infringements that are putting locals health and safety at risk, Ms
Rhiannon said.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Julian Assange : Extradition Case Finally Heading To Court

Julian Assange's extradition case is finally heading to court – here's what to expect More>>


India: Trump Visits Modi And Announces $3 Billion Arms Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump got a warm welcome from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to kick off a whirlwind 36-hour tour of the world's largest democracy and announced the two countries were finalizing a $3 billion arms deal. More>>

  • Common Dreams - In Shadow of Trump's India Visit, Muslim Attacks in Delhi
  • NZ Govt - New Zealand And India To Strengthen Ties
  • NZ Govt - Foreign And Trade Ministers To Visit India
  • Migrant Workers Association - Unite Against Fascism In India
  • India NZ Business Council - ‘India Unplugged’ draws NZ, India business leaders
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Bid

    Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic nomination is taking on an air of inevitability, and that likelihood has been met with elation by some people, and feelings of dread in others... More>>


    Crisis and Opportunity: The ‘Deal of the Century’

    After several postponements, US President, Donald Trump, has finally revealed the details of his Middle East plan, dubbed ‘Deal of the Century’, in a press conference in Washington on January 28. More>>


    Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

    So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. ... More>>