Media Statement Adverse Judgment for Springvale

Main Content



Centennial Coal has consistently maintained all issues were appropriately addressed during a protracted and exhaustive State and Federal assessment process to secure Springvale Mine’s consent in late 2015.

Unfortunately today’s decision of the NSW Court of Appeal that the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) applied the wrong test in determining whether the proposed development would have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality (the NorBE test) in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment may result in Springvale’s consent being declared invalid.

“While the Court’s decision is obviously disappointing, we have prepared for this outcome. A range of options have been identified and we will now proceed to implement these options to seek to ensure Springvale can continue operating without disruption”, stated Katie Brassil, Centennial Coal’s Executive GM External Affairs.

In December 2015, 4Nature Inc., represented by the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), filed a Summons (Judicial Review) in the Land and Environment Court (LEC), seeking to challenge Springvale’s (October 2015) State significant development consent granted by the PAC.

The grounds for the review were about whether the PAC complied with clause 10(1) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) 2011, which required it to be satisfied that the proposed development would have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality (the NorBE test) in the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment.

In September 2016 the LEC rejected 4Nature Inc's legal challenge and dismissed its proceedings. This decision confirmed the ability of the Springvale mine (an existing mine) to continue to operate.

In October 2016 4Nature Inc. launched an appeal with the NSW Court of Appeal from the LEC’s (September 2016) judgment that validated Springvale’s consent.

“Our immediate focus will be ensuring Springvale can continue to operate, thereby securing the livelihood of our local community while also continuing to meet the State’s electricity needs”, Katie Brassil concluded.

2 August, 2017

Springvale Mine:

Supported by an on-site workforce of 437 employees and contractors, Springvale Mine is an underground coal mine located 15km northwest of Lithgow. Using longwall mining methods Springvale produces up to 5.5 million tonnes of coal annually for Mt Piper Power Station and export markets. Importantly, Springvale is the only mine that can supply coal to Mt Piper Power Station, who is also a significant local employer, generating up to 15% of the State’s power needs.

For further information contact:

Katie Brassil – Executive GM External Affairs on 0419 356 690 or