21 Jun 2011

Former Green leader against Buller mine

9:59 am on 21 June 2011

Commissioners considering an application for what could become New Zealand's biggest coal mine are being urged to reject the project because of its contribution to global warming.

Buller Coal, a subsidiary of Australian company Bathurst Resources, is seeking consent for the open cast mine on the Denniston Plateau in Buller on the West Coast.

Former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons believes objectors have a case over the carbon dioxide that is burned up from the coal that would be exported to power stations and steel mills overseas.

Ms Fitzsimons says despite a change in the Resource Management Act which excludes climate change considerations from air discharge applications, that is not the case with the Bathurst Resources mine process.

She says it would set a precedent if commissioners do take climate change into account.

Supporters of the mine say it would create hundreds of jobs and add an estimated $200 million to the West Coast economy.

The consent hearing ends next week.