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Question and Answer Tracking Details

6860 - Energy and Environment - PEABODYS METROPOLITAN MINE

Faehrmann, Cate to the Special Minister of State, and Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts representing the Minister for Energy and Environment

(1) How much water has Peabody's Metropolitan mine discharged into Camp Gully Creek over the last five years?

(2) What monitoring plans are in place for the Metropolitan mine water discharged into Camp Gully Creek?

(3) What are the discharge points for water pumped out of the surface facilities of the Metropolitan mine at Helensburgh?

(4) Environment Protection Authority (EPA) records state that 10 tonnes of coal overflowed into a creek adjacent to Peabody's Metropolitan Mine surface facilities in 2009, was this Camp Gully Creek which flows into the Royal National Park?

(a) If so, what work has been done to remove the coal from the Royal National Park waterways?

(b) If any remediation took place:

(i) Who carried out the work?

(ii) How much coal was removed from the Royal National Park waterways?

(c) What other incidents of coal spilling into the creek have occurred since the 1970s?

(5) What are the locations of the discharge points of water that is pumped out of the mine tunnels that run underneath Woronora Reservoir?

(a) How is that water treated?

(6) Over the last 10 years has testing equipment for the Metropolitan Mine water discharge into Camp Gully Creek failed so that water testing records have not been submitted?

(a) If so, how many times?

(7) Bionet records indicate that Platypus were sighted in Waratah Rivulet in 2006 and 2007:

(a) Have any platypus been sighted since?

(i) If not, are impacts as a result of the mining operation responsible for the local extinction of the species?

Answer -

I am advised:

(1) The volume of treated water discharged to Camp Gully over the past five years authorised by Environment Protection Licence No. 767 is:




120 megalitres


55 megalitres


67 megalitres


133 megalitres



(Note: 1 megalitre = 1 million litres)

(2) Monitoring must be undertaken in accordance with conditions in Environment Protection Licence No. 767 accessible on the NSW EPA’s Public Register at

(3) The location of the three EPA licensed water discharge points listed in Environment Protection Licence No. 767 are numbered points 6, 7 and 8, and are at the following locations:


Location (Decimal Lat/Long)

6 - The pipe outlet to Camp Creek upstream of the existing weir wall

-34.188103 150.992681

7 - The outlet of the concrete flume (from the water treatment plant) to Camp Creek

-34.187899 150.992892

8 - The overflow from the Turkey Nest Dam to Camp Creek

-34.187321 150.999217

(4) This information is not readily available.

(5) Groundwater from the underground mine workings is pumped to the pit top in Helensburgh and incorporated into the mine’s surface water management system. It is then either re-used or discharged through licence discharge points 6, 7 or 8 as described in the response to question 3.

(a) The water is treated by settling in dams followed by sand filtration.

(6) Yes, once.

(a) In 2010, flow monitoring data was lost because of corruption of a computer file. In response, the mine installed new equipment to ensure flow monitoring data was backed up. The problem has not re-occurred.

(7) The EPA licence does not require monitoring for platypus.

Question asked on 14 July 2021 (session 57-1) and published in Questions & Answers Paper No. 540
Answer received on 4 August 2021 and published in Questions & Answers Paper No. 555