Families, retirees calling on Michael Johnsen to help them fight for compensation

LOCAL families and retirees are calling on Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen to help them fight for compensation, as they continue to suffer from the loss of thousands of dollars in personal savings due to the NSW Government’s decision to cancel a coalmine licence.

Almost 50, of about 3000, innocent shareholders in NuCoal Resources live in the Upper Hunter and had their investment made effectively worthless by the actions of the NSW Parliament, which passed a special law to cancel the Exploration Licence held by NuCoal at Doyles Creek in 2014.

The cancellation of the licence was a recommendation of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), following adverse findings against the government minister who granted the licence and the directors of the original licence holder – Doyles Creek Mining. 

While NuCoal was not part of ICAC’s inquiry, the NSW Parliament did not act on ICAC’s additional recommendation that proper compensation be paid to innocent shareholders. 

Special legislation also denied shareholders access to the legal system to have their day in court to fight for compensation.

NuCoal resources director Glen Lewis said the NuCoal shareholders had contacted Mr Johnsen, requesting his support for a fair compensation process to rectify this injustice.

“These local mum-and-dad investors and retirees invested their hard-earned savings in an ASX listed mining company with an asset in NSW,” he explained.

“The licence was issued by a government minister and these families never expected that their assets and savings would be ripped away due to the actions of the NSW Government.

“No accusations of wrongdoing have ever been made against NuCoal and, yet, these innocent victims still have no compensation and continue to suffer from the losses through no fault of their own.

“The fact is the NSW Government signed off on the coal licence and as Members of Parliament, it’s time for Michael Johnsen to stand up for the people of the Upper Hunter and help address this terrible injustice. 

“It’s well and truly time to right, this wrong.”

Mr Lewis said NuCoal had approached multiple government representatives over the past four years – and was now calling for a compensation process to start for the innocent victims.

NuCoal is urging the NSW Government to engage a retired senior Judge to consider the facts and the circumstances of dispossessed shareholders, and recommend appropriate compensation. 

It is proposed that shareholders would also be able to make submissions to this process.

Mr Johnsen confirmed he received a letter on Tuesday morning, as had other Members of Parliament.

But, he is seeking more information before making a comment on the matter.

Source: Hunter Valley News

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