CAMPAIGN UPDATES               November 2021

Save The Drip (The Dripping Gorge)


Moolarben Coal Mine UG4 Extraction Plan DoPIE has committed to notify us when this is received by Planning (due early December). There is still uncertainty as to whether we will be able to see a copy of  the EP prior to any approval.

The promised Expert panel review of UG4 We have been assured that Prof Jim Galvin expert underground mining panel has been informed of our concerns and will be provided with relevant documents.  The Minister assured us that we would be able to address the panel – the Dept has not clearly agreed to this yet.

MCO plans to expand 2 open cuts and is carrying out more exploration

  • There are two areas under investigation for open cut extension projects: OC3 and OC4 extension
  • MCO intend to split into two separate EIS’s and planning applications (i.e. maximises work for us & downplays the cumulative impact). The EIS for OC3 extension to proceed ahead of the OC4 extension with Scoping Report currently being prepared for OC3 extension.
  • Drilling exploration program about 2km NE of The Dripping Gorge (Results have been requested)

Potential impact of REZ Transmission Lines

  • TransGrid and Merriwa-Cassilis Alliance are in discussion seeking to agree on a route for the new lines to service the REZ – The proposed corridor is unacceptable to farmers on the plateau.
  • An alternate route being assessed takes the line from Wollar substation NW to Ulan, then N along Ulan Cassilis Road on a line approved for Liverpool Range Wind Farm (LRWF).
  • This goes straight through significant remnant native vegetation (east west bio-regional corridor linking coast to western fall). Including the very sensitive cultural landscape that incorporates  The Dripping Gorge and ‘Hands on Rock’. We see this as a direct threat to the public amenity, heritage and aesthetics of The Dripping Gorge and Goulburn River.
  • The LRWF (Coolah-Cassilis area) was given approval for a 60m easement through this area  – which we have been opposing – and have suggested they go further west either along the Ulan Coal Mines power easement (above the underground mine UG3) or further west through already cleared country.  Or bury the wires like they have agreed down in Victoria from the off shore Windfarms.
    So far the Mines have strongly opposed having power easement through their land.

Hawkins Rumker Coal Exploration Area

Rylstone Region Coal Free Community (RRCFC) – a very comprehensive website.

According to RRCFC more than 2000 public submissions were received, 99% of which opposed the proposal.

Good news! – NSW Deputy Premier, Paul Toole told a budget estimates hearing at state parliament he would ask the cabinet not to support the project.

“I take that view because of what I’ve seen already shows that there are issues around commerciality of the project and also there are social issues around the project.”

Caution is needed though: ‘Mr Toole said it would be pre-emptive to say whether the nearby Ganguddy-Kelgoola region would be discarded and was awaiting further information on the project.’


Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone: Landholder Workshops On-line – hosted by Energy Corporation NSW, ‘understand how to best negotiate with developers, assess risk and mitigation measures, how insurance could be impacted and discuss what shared benefits are’.

This list of resources was shared and may be of interest:

Considerations for landowners before entering into commercial agreements:

National Wind Farm Commissioner – 2019 Annual Report

NSW Farmers – Renewable Energy Landowner Guide

Agri-Solar Guide

Community Benefits Handbook

Farming under Wind, Solar and Transmission Lines: Hosted by Farmers for Climate Action On-line (>500 participants) ‘what are the opportunities for combining agriculture with large scale energy infrastructure and generation?’ Recording here

Working with RE-Alliance: The on-line workshops listed above were facilitated by Karin Stark, Community Engagement Manager, RE-Alliance. They have identified that ‘local communities in the eastern half of the REZ are shouldering a real ‘engagement overload’ from individual projects and related CCC and SIA processes.’ We have developed a joint proposal (RE-Alliance, MDEG, Coolah-Dunedoo Landcare and others) which is being put to renewable energy developers and government: To  fund two community support positions (Coolah-Dunedoo and Gulgong-Mudgee).

A meeting has been set with Mike Young DPIE for Wednesday 24th November.