Strict conditions should save the historic Kurrumbede homestead from mining impacts of Whitehaven Coal's Vickery extension.
The $607 million project near Boggabri was given the green light by the NSW Independent Planning Commission on Wednesday but 184 conditions must be met to help mitigate against environmental and social impacts.
"It's as good an outcome as we could expect if the mine was going to be given the go-ahead," the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society (DMMS) member Owen Hasler said.
"To some degree, it might be considered to be a compromise but I think the key recognition of it as an historic heritage site with fairly stringent conditions in regards to condition and upgrades to make it available for visitation [are adequate].
"We're taking a very practical view of achieving the recognition of its heritage value whilst recognising there's going to be mine active nearby. Given the public statement of the company to date, and more recent consultation we've had with them, and now conditions as outlined in the document, we believe the objectives we had will be achieved."
We're taking a very practical view of achieving the recognition of its heritage value whilst recognising there's going to be mine active nearby.- Owen Hasler, Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society
In a statement, the IPC said the project had been approved after several key issues, including water resources, greenhouse gas emissions and socio-economic impacts, were considered.
"The commission finds that on balance ... the impacts associated with the project are acceptable and the project is in the public interest," the statement read.
"The commission is of the view that the additional environmental and amenity impacts can be appropriately managed and mitigated in accordance with the applicable guidelines and policies."
A number of the conditions imposed on the project are related to Kurrumbede - a former family residence of the Mackellars - including the requirement for a structural engineer to assess and report on all buildings; the preparation and approval of a historic heritage management plan before construction starts; limits on blasting near the property; opening the property to the public on certain days; and ongoing consultation with DMMS, Gunnedah Shire Council and Heritage NSW.
"In our submission [to IPC] we said it would be a great if the hub of the mines' operations ... were not in such close proximity to the homestead because long term I don't think it's going to help with the preservation of the homestead and outbuildings, but we have to rely on the expert advice that is available to us regarding blasting and dust issues," DMMS president Pip Murray said.
Mr Hasler said Kurrumbede was "an asset for the nation, not just our community" and the society was hopeful it will be added to the State Heritage Register by the end of the year.
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