Marquart calls climate action councillors 'hypocritical'
Cr Troy Marquart, who represents Gosford West ward which covers the Peninsula, has called councillors who supported action against climate change "hypocritical" for accepting money from a coal company.
"In this room there has obviously been a horrendous amount of vilification in regard to coal and that type of base load power," Cr Marquart told the November 25 council meeting.
"Unfortunately, recently this council decided to jump into bed with Extinction Rebellion and all their mates and say things such as base load power, such as coal, such as farmers who want to have sheep, farms with cows, gas, all these things need to go."
He was referring to the Council declaring a climate emergency, at its August 26 meeting, when he, along with Cr Greg Best and Cr Chris Burke, voted against the declaration.
He spoke to a report from council staff which included allocations in a community funding program from Delta Coal.
The report said that Delta Coal now owned the company that in late 2013 was granted development consent to extract up to 2.1 million tonnes of coal a year until the end of 2027 from Chain Valley Colliery.
For each tonne of coal produced, 3.5 cents was required, as a condition of consent, to be allocated as a community funding program for projects within the suburbs of Summerland Point, Gwandalan, Chain Valley Bay and Mannering Park, the report stated.
Cr Marquart said Delta Coal had two coal mines in the northern Central Coast and employed 250 workers "to dig up that horrendous black rock that many people in this room don't like".
"I personally like it because it keeps the lights on."
Cr Marquart said he appreciated the company wasn't doing it out of "the absolute goodness of their heart but you go through what they are doing and $48,898 which is going into the exact region that these people are working in".
He said Delta Coal was employing people and doing good things for the community and providing coal.
He said it was hypocritical for people to put their hands up to accept this "Christmas present from coal and then next week again affirm that we're in a climate change emergency and if we don't all stop burning coal tomorrow then Mangrove Mountain is going to be waterfront".
Central Coast Council agenda item 3.10, 25 Nov 2019