NSW pauses approvals for coal mines in water catchment

The New South Wales Government will pause new approvals for coal mining under Sydney’s drinking water catchment until well into 2020 as it considers an advisory panel’s report into the impact of mining on water supplies.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the independent panel led by Jim Galvin, a retired UNSW professor of mining engineering, has made 50 recommendations on how future mining should be managed under the Upper Nepean and Woronora catchments that account for about 28 per cent of Sydney Water .

Underground mining in the catchment has become particularly controversial during the drought as the levels of Sydney’s dams drop faster than at any time since as least 1940 even with the city’s desalination plant at full tilt.

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