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Questions about Rocky Hill mine water plans Beauty: The view at Gloucester towards where the proposed Rocky Hill coking coal mine could be established.
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Protests: Residents are making their views on the proposed mine known.

Against: Gloucester residents (from left) Dimity Bowden, Helen Evans, Mick O’Brien, Denise and Bruce Gilbert, who oppose the proposed mine.

TweetFacebook Poll shows Gloucester residents overwhelmingly oppose Rocky Hill coal mineAn area known for its natural beauty is fighting a coal mine proposal, againTHE NSW Department of Primary Industries has raised serious questions about water management at the proposed Rocky Hill coal mine at Gloucester as a new poll shows residents overwhelmingly oppose the mine.

The department questioned a proposed water sharing arrangement between the mine, on the approaches to Gloucester, and Yancoal’s Stratford Duralie mine complex, in a letter to the Department of Planning on July 30. The Department of Planning is assessingthe mine application before making a recommendation about its future.

The Department of Primary Industries said the long term feasibility of the water sharing arrangement was unclear as it assumed no further development by Yancoal, and requires that both mine sites be “inextricably linked”.

The department requested more information on impacts to downstream water users, including discussions between Rocky Hill and downstream licensed users about theirbasic landholder rights.

On Monday Groundswell Gloucester released the results of a ReachTEL phone poll of more than 700 residents showing 73 per cent of residents do not want the mine, and only 19 per cent think it should go ahead.

Women outnumbermen in opposing the project on environmental, health and tourism grounds, and people aged over 50 also opposethe proposal in greater numbers.

Only 16 per cent of women polled support the mine, with 76.5 per cent opposed to it. The largest group to oppose the mine are people aged 51-65, with 77.9 per cent opposed.

Groundswell Gloucester spokesperson John Watts said the poll on the night of July 27 showed the community “has had enough and the government and MPs will ignore these results at their peril”.

“Over 200 people recently attended a public meeting in Gloucester and voted unanimously to tell the government that it must act to stop this flawed proposal. This poll shows that the community overwhelmingly does not want a 220m deep, dirty and polluting coal mine on the doorstep of the township.

“Noise, dust and toxic blast fumes will be what the Gloucester community will be forced to endure sixdays aweek until 10pm. That is simply unacceptable.”

Mr Watts quoted Mid-Coast Council administrator John Turner, who grew up in a mining town and made a submission that “this mine is simply too close to town”.

The ReachTEL pollfound that 58 per cent of residents thought the mine would adversely affect tourism while63 per cent said it would adversely affect the health of the Gloucester community.

Gloucester Resources, which first proposed a Rocky Hill mine in 2006, has applied to operate three open cut pits up to 220 metres deep to mine for coking coal, and use Yancoal facilities to transport it to Newcastle.

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