"In short, an open cut coal mine in this part of the Gloucester valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Wrong place because an open cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many people’s homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts.
“Wrong time because the GHG emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of GHGs at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in GHG emissions. These dire consequences should be avoided. The Project should be refused."
Those are the words of Chief Judge Brian Preston of the NSW Land and Environment Court, and they are significant — that coal mining's contribution to climate change be acknowledged in this way, that climate change be acknowledged in this way.
For years now a group of residents from Gloucester have fought to stop a coal mine in the valley near their community. And this past Friday, they won their fight.
“This is a seminal moment in the development of climate litigation in Australia – and will weigh heavily on the minds of decision-makers considering whether to approve new fossil fuels projects,” said David Morris, CEO of the NSW Environmental Defenders Office.
The following images were taken over the course of one day in Gloucester, during a visit a few years back…