Coal Miner Buys Support

Private landowners who sell their land to Centennial Coal for a new coal mine in New South Wales have been offered an extra $A25,000 if they sign contract provisions that require them to support the mine. One contract clause states that "the landholder must not in any way make any objection or complaint to any authority regarding the grant of project approval." Another clause states that the landowner "must do all things and sign all documents reasonably required by Centennial to support the grant of project approval." Asked what a landowner could be required to support, the Managing Director of Centennial Coal, Bob Cameron, retreated, stating, "There probably will be none. What we are saying, though, is that you cannot actively oppose the project, having entered into a contract."