Clearing by coal mining companies in Leard State Forest

The top image shows newly bulldozed trees at Idemitsu’s Boggabri open-cut coal mine in Leard State Forest. The existing mine has already cleared hundreds of hectares of the forest and is currently clearing so that it can expand further into the forest.

The bottom image shows trees bulldozed along the edge of Northern Loop Road. This clearing is presumably to widen the existing road which Whitehaven Coal is using for access and to bring heavy machinery in to the forest during construction of its proposed Maules Creek open-cut coal mine and rail link.

These aerial photographs were taken on Monday 10th February 2014. The Leard State Forest is currently closed to the public, with authorities citing concerns about fire risk. However, both Whitehaven and Idemitsu are allowed to carry on coal mining and construction work in the state forest.