Springvale returns to work

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15 October, 2015

The Springvale workforce will be able to return to work on Friday (October 16).

Due to the prolonged delays in securing the approvals required to allow mining to continue at Springvale, Centennial Coal had no option other than to stand down the majority of the Springvale workforce from August 21.

“It has been 8 long weeks since we were forced to stand down the majority of our Springvale workforce”, claimed Centennial Coal’s Executive GM External Affairs, Katie Brassil.

“This has been a hugely disruptive, costly and frustrating time for our people, their families, the local community and we as a company”.

“We welcome the decision by Minister Hunt to grant Federal approval for our Springvale mine today which is the important final step in the process that allows our people to return to work”, Katie continued.

“The Lithgow community should hold their heads high and be very proud of the professionalism and compassion that has been displayed by our people and the way in which they and the broader community have supported each other through this difficult time”.

“We are very fortunate to live and work in a community that has such strong support for our industry.  Lithgow City Council under the stewardship of Mayor Maree Statham and Deputy Mayor Ray Thompson, our local MP’s Paul Toole and John Cobb, have proven to be ferocious local champions throughout this process and we thank them”.

“Whilst our people welcome the opportunity to return to work as much as we need them to get back to work, we are very disappointed that it was a broken NSW Planning system that placed us in such a deplorable position in the first place”.

“Our people will now get back to work and do what they do best – safely cutting coal and keeping the lights on in NSW”, concluded Katie.

Springvale Mine: Operating for 20 years (established in 1995), Springvale Mine is an underground coal mine in the Lithgow area.  Centennial Coal (Centennial) was seeking to extend the life of the mine for an additional 13 years (2028) by renewing its current planning consent which expired in September 2015.

Centennial started the planning process over three years ago, a process that has costed in excess of $2.5million and where we have had to contend with seven changes to the ‘planning and assessment’ goal posts during this time.

In addition to the over 300 jobs currently at Springvale, it is also the only mine that can supply coal to Mt Piper Power Station, which generates approximately 15% of the State’s power needs.

For further information contact:

Katie Brassil – Executive GM External Affairs on 0419 356 690