Valuing the environmental, cultural and social impacts of open-cut coal mining in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia

Robert Gillespie, Jeff Bennett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Open-cut coal mining projects can have a range of environmental, cultural and social impacts that, in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, are required to be addressed as part of the environmental assessment (EA) process. While these impacts are often addressed within separate impact assessment frameworks, it is possible to undertake EA as an applied economic analysis with non-market valuation methods such as choice modelling (CM) used to incorporate environmental, cultural and social impacts. A CM study of the proposed extension of the Warkworth Mine in the Hunter Valley of NSW found that community well-being declined with increased clearing of endangered ecological communities (EECs), loss of highly significant Aboriginal sites and displacement of rural families from affected villages, but increased with the length of time that the mine provides employment and with the planting or protection of EECs as offsets. Community preferences for these offsets ranged from a ratio of 1.4:1 for protection of existing remnant EECs in the region to a ratio of 4.0:1 for planting of EECs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)276-288
    JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Policy
    Volume1
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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