While matters pertaining to Aboriginal heritage are outside my expertise, I do have
substantial knowledge related to the history of oil shale mining in New South Wales
as documented in a book by Pells and Hammon (2009)12.
I note that Appendix J (Cultural Heritage) contains the following statement:
“The Airly shale mining complex sits between Mount Airly and Genowlan Mountain in
a dramatic and highly scenic landscape characterised by sweeping topography,
dense vegetation and large sandstone mesas rising from the Capertee Valley floor.
As such, the Airly site and its visual setting have high aesthetic value. Some of the
more intact dwelling remains such as the so called Manager’s House and the Bakery
are considered to be picturesque ruins with visually impressive backdrops (refer to
Plates in Section 4). In many cases, therefore, it is the combination of the site
components and their setting that creates attractive views/vistas. The introduction of
access generally including a transport system in the form of the haulage
skipway/tramway, the mine workings themselves and the associated dwellings to this
remote location was undoubtedly a feat of technical ingenuity. It is understood that
the introduction of tramways in particular, initially a narrow gauge tramway on a selfactivating
inclined way followed by a double line cable tramway which passed through
the mountain, were considerable technical achievements.”
It then states:
“The principle element ensuring negligible impact to the Airly shale mining complex is
the Centennial Airly Mine Plan. Whilst the Airly shale mining complex will be
undermined using partial extraction mining methods, the mining occurs at depth
resulting in a predicted level of between 0 and 10 millimetres of subsidence. As such,
there will be no impact on the remnant structures.”
The statement that subsidence will be limited to between 0 and 10 millimetres is
given nowhere else in the EIS and is not true. This must call into question the
conclusions in regard to impacts on Aboriginal and European heritage.
Issued by CVA Inc.