Trucking Donkin coal should be reconsidered
Xstrata invested a lot of money in reopening the Donkin coal mine when that company was here. It also consulted with the community on each step of the development, including plans to move the coal by barge to ships waiting just offshore.
Alas, Xstrata’s interest in Donkin quickly fizzled after the response from the community to that idea. This raises the question of the degree of consultation by Kameron Coal with the community, especially about trucking the coal by road to the Sydney waterfront. And there lies the problem. Before the wheels of the big rigs hauling the coal reach the highway they must first grind and wind out of Donkin via narrow, local roads. It doesn’t take a psychic to foresee the potential of a tragic accident involving a coal truck and a passenger vehicle, biker, cyclist, jogger or walker on those roads.
So here’s a suggestion to lessen that likelihood: Kameron Coal might want to consider stockpiling Donkin coal at the mine site until a better, safer way is in place to move it to the piers at Sydney.
Stockpiling the coal at Donkin for a time won’t put Kameron out of business: a lot of thermal generating plants in the Eastern United States burn Kameron coal, plus America intends to create electricity by burning coal for decades into the future.
For now, though, in this corner of the continent the benefit of being “proactive” on the issue of moving Donkin coal from mine to waterfront may go a long way towards averting the hindsight and flurry of “reactivity” that invariably follows preventable tragedy and loss of life. Rev. Darius B. Powell Howie Centre