Mighty Gloucester

Sunset over the Gloucester valley after a late afternoon storm.

Sunset over the Gloucester valley after a late afternoon storm.

"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.

Representing community group Groundswell Gloucester, EDO NSW argued the mine was contrary to the public interest and principles of ecologically sustainable development because of its significant social and climate change impacts.
— NSW Environmental Defenders Office

“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…

The Gloucester valley sunset light show.

The Gloucester valley sunset light show.

Gloucester is a town near the Barrington Tops National Park in the mid north coast region of NSW.

Gloucester is a town near the Barrington Tops National Park in the mid north coast region of NSW.

A rainbow over the Gloucester valley after an afternoon storm.

A rainbow over the Gloucester valley after an afternoon storm.

Gloucester valley.

Gloucester valley.

Groundswell Gloucester  is a community group who’ve worked for years to protect their valley against coal seam gas and expanded coal mining. They’ve won hard fought victories on both fronts.

Groundswell Gloucester is a community group who’ve worked for years to protect their valley against coal seam gas and expanded coal mining. They’ve won hard fought victories on both fronts.

Gloucester is home to about 3000 people.

Gloucester is home to about 3000 people.

Agriculture has played an important role in the local economy of the Gloucester valley.

Agriculture has played an important role in the local economy of the Gloucester valley.

The scenic Gloucester valley is the gateway to the Barrington Tops.

The scenic Gloucester valley is the gateway to the Barrington Tops.

Dawn in the Gloucester valley.

Dawn in the Gloucester valley.

The sun begins to rise over Gloucester.

The sun begins to rise over Gloucester.

Kate