From Monday, without proper consultation or notice, Centennial Coal will begin seismic testing and drilling in the basin of Lake Macquarie with the aim of opening it up for further mining.
"There's been no meaningful consultation. No notice. Nothing." said Abigail Boyd, Greens MP and spokesperson for Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast.
"And it won't just be seismic testing - there are plans to drill the lake floor over the coming five years.
"The lake is already contaminated by lead and zinc, caused largely by the coal industry, which has already impacted on fishing quotas. By disturbing the lake sediment, this proposal risks spreading the impacts of that contamination further.
"The environmental report states clearly that the seismic testing will have harmful impacts on marine life, including turtles, dolphins and already threatened seagrass beds which are critical habitat.
"All this for the sake of digging out more coal by an industry determined to put short-term profits over the long-term needs of the community and our environment.
"Instead of propping up a dying industry and destroying our lake, we should be leading the way and reaping the economic benefits of a just transition to 100% renewable energy.
Media Contact: Matthew Thompson - 0421 743 665 / (02) 9230 3675