“Residents in the Hunter region say they are gutted after a controversial sand mine inside a PFAS contamination risk zone was green-lit by New South Wales Independent Planning Commission today.

Williamtown Sand Syndicate wants to mine more than three million tonnes of sand from its site on Cabbage Tree Road, north of Newcastle, to meet demand in the building and construction markets of Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter region.

The project has been deemed a ‘State Significant Development’ despite staunch local opposition.

The area is at the centre of an ongoing PFAS contamination crisis, where residents are living in fear for their health after chemicals used at the nearby defence air base seeped onto their properties.

The project has been plagued by opposition, with all but one of the 125 original public submissions to the NSW Planning Department — which gave it its seal of approval before it was referred to the IPC — opposing the project.

Opponents flagged potential issues including PFAS contamination, damage to surface and groundwater resources, traffic, dust, safety, and noise.”

Read full article by Nancy Notzon