The Greens strongly condemn the Abbott Government's approval of the Chinese-owned Shenhua Watermark coal mine in the Liverpool Plains to ruin high-quality farmland and cook the planet.
Australian Greens Deputy Leader and mining spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said:
"The Abbott Government is again putting overseas mining interests ahead of farmers and our climate.
"This mega coal mine is set to produce 268 million tonnes of coal over 30 years, just three kilometres from the nearest down of Breeza, yet the climate impacts were not even legally considered.
"The Liverpool Plains, with rich black soil, excellent water resources and ideal climatic conditions, is one of our most important farming regions and its productivity is 40 per cent above the national average.
"The community will be appalled at their local member and Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, who has grossly failed to protect the Liverpool Plains.
"With the coal price in structural decline, it's economically insane to be sacrificing valuable farming land for the dying coal industry, especially when we have viable renewable energy alternatives."
The Greens NSW agriculture spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said:
"Mining in the heart of the best agricultural area in NSW is a betrayal of farmers and the national interest.
"The blowhards in the National Party have lost all credibility, being in government at both state and federal levels they were still unable or unwilling to stop this disastrous mine.
"No doubt the local farmers will take a stand to directly oppose the construction of this mine and the Greens are ready and willing to stand side-by-side with them."