Above: Stephanie Darley, middle, pictured with her parents Jenny and Errol Darley. The Darley family live on the property ‘Merrigle’, Boggabri and oppose the project.

About 150 people attended a public hearing in Boggabri to discuss Whitehaven Coal’s proposed Vickery coal mine extension.

The Independent Planning Commission held Monday’s meeting at the RSL Memorial Club and heard a range of views from about 50 speakers.

The three-member commission panel included Mr John Hann (panel chair), Professor Chris Fell AM and Professor Garry Willgoose.

The Vickery mine is 25 kilometres north of Gunnedah but is located within both the Gunnedah and Narrabri local government areas.

Stephanie Darley of ‘Merrigle’ Boggabri was one of the youngest speakers and she is against the project.

“I have lived on ‘Merrigle’ my entire life and see myself in the future developing my own home on the property and putting my university degree to good use.

“However, with the proposed railway this dream home looks more like a nightmare,” said Miss Darley.

Miss Darley said the location she has always planned to build her dream home is likely to be 250 metres from the proposed railway that will cross the Namoi river.

The Darley family live on the western side of the proposed extension.

Miss Darley also raised concerns about the impact on the flood plain, Namoi River and underground water system.