A new plan, created by the Colong Foundation, Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Lithgow Environment Group for the transition of state forests beside Lithgow to a state conservation area was launched on Monday April 8 at the Lithgow Workies. The summary and full report are below. The plan focuses on the tourism, economic and community benefits to Lithgow from the new reserve.
Destination Pagoda puts Lithgow on the tourist map https://www.colongwilderness.org.au/media-releases/2019/04/destination-pagoda-puts-lithgow-tourist-map
Thanks so much to everyone who donated to our solar project. We plan to have a big thank you party in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. The rooftop solar project finally gets a start. LJWSolar team on site preparing for installation of rooftop solar.
Hoskins Uniting Church has received a successful community grant of $3000 from Energy Australia Mt Piper for its roof top solar panels project.
The 12 month project, which is at its half way stage, has raised $7739.24 thus far but is still behind the target of $14,571.50
That target will include the overall cost to install the rooftop solar panels.
The money raised so far has been via private donations and fundraising events including Bunnings barbecues.
Julie Favell, project officer of Lithgow Environment Renewable Energy Hub, said that by utilising energy from the sun it would reduce Hoskins Uniting Church Lithgow’s carbon footprint.
She also said that with reduced energy costs it would allow the church to continue supporting the community and those in need.
Steel City Sue is a musician based in Newcastle, Australia. She plays trad fiddle, and follows it around the world to where the tunes are cranking and the dance floor's busy. She also writes songs - about her life and her town. Boom Town is her debut album and was recorded with Truckstop Honeymoon in Lawrence Kansas at Mike West's 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor.
Listen to Steel City Sue on Bandcamp by clicking here...
The Lithgow region has a long history with coal production - but now there's plans to bring a new solar farm to town.
Mining company Centennial Coal is considering establishing a two megawatt solar farm at the Airly mine site in Capertee to offset its high energy costs.
The coal story: Generational coal mining communities and strategies of energy transition in Australia
The implications of place attachment and loss in generational coal mining communities are currently underexamined in energy transition discourse in Australia. By examining public submissions regarding a coal mining development in Lithgow, New South Wales, this paper identifies a relationship between coal mining and generational identity in this community. Acknowledging this relationship adds a useful perspective to energy transition discourse by highlighting the way in which hidden dimensions of loss can act to reinforce local support of extractive industry. We combine recent scholarship on the emotionality of the minescape with work on the ways in which place attachment can translate to feelings of loss in response to material change to suggest that factors of time and place can make community-level actors within the energy landscape either receptive, or resistant, to change. Applying this understanding to decarbonisation strategies can inform a more effective, and more just, energy transition in Australia.
Hanging in the Balance: Community Participation in the Springvale Extension Development Proposal
This thesis explores the way in which a contested coal mining development in the vicinity of
Lithgow, New South Wales, was approved by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission
(PAC) in a decision-making process extended by an amendment to the State Environmental
Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) 2007 (NSW). This
analysis employs the principles of environmental justice within a legal geography approach to
examine how communities mobilised their justice claims through different constructions of
‘local’ interest during the decision-making process. The role of the law in this decision-making
process both supported and undermined the ability of environment opponents of this
development to engage with and be equitably represented by the planning system. This analysis suggests that the interaction between the key decision-making processes in this case-
study - the PAC, and a judicial review in the NSW Land and Environment Court – interacted in ways that resulted in the justice claims of particular human and non-human communities
being misrepresented and silenced throughout the planning process. This paper engages with
and contributes to contemporary debates about the rising influence of community
participation as a form of decentralised environmental governance, and its capacity to deliver
positive, and equitable, social and environmental outcomes in NSW.
The construction of ‘local’ interest in New South Wales environmental planning processes
Deliberative democracy in the form of community participation is considered a ‘key priority’ in New South Wales (NSW) environmental planning. Community participation plays an increasingly central role in state significant developments, which are often sites of contestation. Community participation processes draw upon particular factors of place-based identity, which engage with notions of procedural legitimacy in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. This paper uses a legal geography analysis to explore this link between place-based identity and the experience of procedural legitimacy. We highlight a case study in which a contested coal mining development near Lithgow, NSW was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC). This analysis examines how ‘local’ justice was constructed and mobilised in specific ways by proponents and opponents alike. Spatial factors of identity manifested in distinct ways in participation processes, particularly with respect to (i) claims to legitimacy and (ii) the lived experiences of engagement in a public forum. This case study demonstrates the way in which dualistic spatial terms such as ‘outsider’ opposition and ‘local’ support can render multiple interests of both human and non-human communities invisible. In so doing we are engaging with
current work on environmental justice that examines the
intersection of scale, efficacy and equity in processes of
This report estimates the health burden of air pollution from individual coal-fired power stations in NSW. It is significant new research made possible by recent studies of particle characterisation and atmospheric transport of pollution. The effects of air pollution on human health have been studied and known about for many decades, and the list of health problems to which air pollution contributes continues to grow in tandem with research. This list now includes heart disease, stroke, asthma attacks, low birth weight of babies, lung cancer and type 2 diabetes. Research has also demonstrated that reducing air pollution, even if exposure levels are already low, leads to better health. The form of pollution that has the strongest effect on health is fine particles (PM2.5) and one of the major sources of PM2.5 in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan region is burning coal for electricity. There are five coal-fired power stations in NSW – Bayswater and Liddell in the Upper Hunter Valley, Eraring and Vales Point on the Central Coast, and Mount Piper near Lithgow. This study examines the health burden from premature death, the incidence of low birth weight for babies, and new cases of type 2 diabetes that are attributable to PM2.5 air pollution exposure from these power stations. Air pollution from the five NSW power stations is estimated to lead to 279 deaths or 2,614 ‘Years of Life Lost’ every year for people aged 30 to 99. Each year, this pollution also causes 233 babies to be born weighing less than 2,500 g and causes 361 people who would not otherwise develop type 2 diabetes to develop this disease.
Read the full report now.
Environmental Justice Australia has commissioned a report into the health impacts of air pollution from NSW power stations.
This is the first report of its kind in Australia despite decades of pollution pouring from coal-fired power stations in every government jurisdiction of our nation.
The report has implications for millions of Australians.
Be one of the first to hear about the findings direct from the author, Dr Ben Ewald an epidemiologist and air pollution expert.
EJA's public forum comes at an important time. The pollution licenses for a number of NSW coal-fired power stations are currently under review by the NSW Environmental Protection Agency. Best practice pollution controls to reduce toxic pollution by up to 95% are required for most power stations in other countries and could be installed here.
This event is supported by the Hunter Community Environment Centre and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
This event is supported by the Lithgow Environment Group and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
RSVP at bit.ly/lithgow-public-forum
- Dr Ben Ewald, GP in Newcastle and Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle School of Medicine and Public Health
- Bronya Lipski, lawyer with Environmental Justice Australia
- Dr James Whelan, researcher for Environmental Justice Australia
Read Dr Ben Ewald's full report:
This report estimates the health burden of air pollution from individual coal-fired power stations in NSW. It is significant new research made possible by recent studies of particle characterisation and atmospheric transport of pollution. The effects of air pollution on human health have been studied and known about for many decades, and the list of health problems to which air pollution contributes continues to grow in tandem with research. This list now includes heart disease, stroke, asthma attacks, low birth weight of babies, lung cancer and type 2 diabetes. Research has also demonstrated that reducing air pollution, even if exposure levels are already low, leads to better health. Read more...
The Lithgow Environment Group seeks to preserve the balance of nature in its region. This is especially important given the impacts of the area's industrial heritage. The Lithgow region contains some of the most biodiverse bushland in the Greater Blue Mountains. Our aim is to promote and protect this rich natural heritage..
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