Centennial Coal has been ordered to pay $1.45 million after its mining operations on the Newnes Plateau inflicted significant damage to the temperate highland peat swamps on sandstone ecological community.


An investigation by the Federal Department of Sustainability and Environment found that mining activityes had caused a loss of ecosystem function shown by loss of peat, erosion, vegetation dieback and weed invasion in three swamps.  Mining activities also caused the formation of a large slump hole, several metres wide and more than one metre deep, at the East Wolgan Swamp, meaning that the swamps can no longer serve their role as water filtration systems.


Centennial Coal will pay $1.45 million towards a research program to be administered by the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. The program will map the distribution and extent of the swamps, explore their functions, water dynamics, ecology and history, and look at human impacts on the swamps.