Kerry Bourke has been in discussions with Sibelco Australia, the operator of a magnetite mine north of Gulgong, New South Wales, since the 1990s about property access.
Bourke said in December the company told her that from 8 January, 2014 she had to stop using a haul road through the mine’s lease area as it could not guarantee her safety. The haul road has now had a concrete bollard installed.
“The road they’re trying to force me onto, it’s also on a flood plain,? she said.
A solicitor and the Mid-Western Regional Council have been called on to assist Bourke.
“We’ve requested meetings, which have just been ignored, and the council has instructed them to discuss it with all the people involved, neighbours and myself and nothing’s ever happened,? Bourke explained.
Sibelco Australia operations manager Paul Flomersfeld said the track Ms Bourke uses comes within metres of a 60 metre deep quarry that is used by heavy vehicles and mining equipment, creating significant safety issues. Flomersfeld said the alternate road provides safe access to Ms Bourke’s home.
?Since the mine began I?ve had to deal with dump trucks coming constantly down the haul road, which at the time was on my access road and we got along fine,? Bourke said. ?There?s never been a safety issue before.?
The partial road closure also stems from state government legislation seven years ago forcing the closure and sale of crown roads. Ms Bourke?s previous access runs along a crown road set for closure.
In a statement, Sibelco said the NSW Department of Trade and Investment Crown Lands Division wrote to the company in August 2011 advising of a proposed closure of the Crown Road that runs through and terminates on the Tallawang mine lease.
Sources: ABC News, Mudgee Guardian, Sibelco Australia