Aussie family claims lives have been 'ruined' following mine development next door
A couple who live in rural New South Wales say they've been mentally and financially destroyed after a mining company moved in next door.
"It ruined our life," Annette Morgan told A Current Affair.
Mrs Morgan and her husband Shane have lived on their property for 23 years and brought up their children in their four-bedroom home near Menangle.
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But since the mining company, South32, got approval to set up on a neighbouring property, they say their idyllic lifestyle has turned to dust.
"Look at all the dust, all the plumes of dust everywhere," the couple said, referring to the site next door.
"We have to stay inside and keep the windows closed."
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The project hasn't even opened yet, but the Morgans claim it's already had a huge impact on them.
The dust settles on their roof and ends up in their tank water supply, which they live off.
They've now had to swap their tap water for bottled water and they say they're also forced to bathe in dusty water too.
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South32 is also developing a large entrance to the coal seam, car parks, buildings and a helicopter port, with huge ventilation shafts.
Mrs Morgan said she's concerned because "toxic waste comes out" of the ventilation system while oxygen is pumped into the mine "so miners have clean air".
"That will come towards us," Mrs Morgan said.
She claimed the air quality is only one above the approval level.
The couple said they're also fed up with the constant noise from the motors next door, which keep pumps moving.
The couple doubt they'd be able to just move away because they'd have trouble trying to sell their home.
"Who'd buy this and move here?" Mrs Morgan said.
The Morgans claim South32 have refused to talk to them, so A Current Affair reporter Brady Halls went next door to try and get some answers.
But instead, workers filmed him and referred him to South32.
In a statement to A Current Affair, South32 said it has "maintained contact with Mr and Mrs Morgan since the start of construction".
"We operate within strict noise and dust regulations outlined by the New South Wales government as part of the project approval.
"To date, there have been no breaches of regulations at the site relating to noise or dust."
Statement by a spokesperson for South32:
Following detailed assessment and approval from the New South Wales government, South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal is constructing mine ventilation infrastructure at Menangle.
The mine ventilation infrastructure is critical for continued safe underground operations in an approved area of our Appin Mine, supporting significant ongoing employment and investment for local communities.
Prior to receiving government approval for the project, we undertook significant engagement with local residents over a number of years to outline details of the project, including with Mr Shane Morgan and Mrs Annette Morgan, and listened to their feedback.
This process was important to us and we made changes to the project design in response.
During the New South Wales government assessment and approvals process, there was no formal objection to the plans from Mr and Mrs Morgan in relation to the project.
We have met with them to discuss the project on a number of occasions from 2020 and have maintained contact with Mr and Mrs Morgan since the start of construction.
We operate within strict noise and dust regulations outlined by the New South Wales government as part of the project approval. To date, there have been no breaches of regulations at the site relating to noise or dust.
We continually monitor our performance against the regulations and have ongoing communication with residents in the area.