Massive community interest in T4 coal terminal proposed for Newcastle

NAY: Protesters gathered outside Panthers Newcastle to voice their opposition to plans for a fourth coal terminal in Newcastle.

NAY: Protesters gathered outside Panthers Newcastle to voice their opposition to plans for a fourth coal terminal in Newcastle.

YAY: Supporters of the T4 coal loader at Panthers Newcastle.

YAY: Supporters of the T4 coal loader at Panthers Newcastle.

WIDE-ranging views on the proposed $4.8 billion T4 coal terminal for Newcastle were aired last week when a two-day hearing was held at Newcastle Panthers.

It was the largest public hearing the Planning Assessment Commission has held in NSW, with more than 150 speakers giving evidence and testimony on the proposal.

The groups were given 15 minutes to speak, and individuals were given five.

The T4 terminal is yet to be approved but has reached a number of planning milestones, including a recommendation from the NSW Department of Planning, which said it could handle up to 70 million tonnes of coal a year.

Port Waratah Coal Services has almost halved the capacity of the T4 from 120 million tonnes since it starting planning.

More than 20 community groups attended the Planning Assessment Commission, including Climate Action Newcastle, the Stockton Community Action Group, Correct Planning and Consultation for Mayfield Group, and the Tighes Hill Community Group.

They argued the social, health, economic and environmental impacts would not outweigh any new job prospects the T4 would bring.

About 32,000 Novocastrians live within 500 metres of the coal corridor and opponents say the T4 would increase their exposure to harmful pollution levels.

The Star contacted the Planning Assessment Commission Panel's Sydney office and was told there were no timelines on the decision.

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