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Vickery hearing postponed due to unprecedented community interest

The Independent Planning Commission has postponed a preliminary hearing on a coal mine project in the state’s northwest due to unprecedented community interest. 

A last-minute surge in registrations has resulted in a record number of speakers for the preliminary stage of the multi-stage public hearing. 

Eighty-three people had been registered by the Commission to have their say on the project – that was expected to take about 14 hours. 

“The level of interest in this matter is significant,” Professor Mary O’Kane AC, Chair of the Independent Planning Commission, said. 

“It’s impractical for the Commission to hear from such a large number of speakers in one day and it’s in everybody’s interests to postpone the hearing to ensure everyone has the opportunity to be heard by the Panel in full.” 

The Commission decided that extending the hearing to a second day in the week before Christmas was not practical. 

New dates for the public hearing will be advertised in due course. The Commission will reopen applications to speak; however, anyone who has already been registered to speak will not need to submit a new application. 

Commissioners Mr John Hann (Panel Chair), Professor Chris Fell AM and Professor Garry WIllgoose are still due to meet Gunnedah and Narrabri Shire Councils on Wednesday (19 December). 

They will also conduct a site inspection and tour surrounding areas as previously planned. 

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