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Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley-Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley, which looks set to expand further. The NSW planning department says it would “not be reasonable” to require Rio Tinto “to completely or even partially backfill the final void”. Lock The Gate Alliance/Flickr

Disused mines blight New South Wales, yet the approvals continue

There are hundreds of derelict mine sites across New South Wales – and the state planning department has admitted it is "not aware of the total size" of large mining voids currently being left behind.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has sent some mixed messages on foreign investment, but it’s critical a level playing field is applied. Alan Porritt/AAP

Open for foreign investment … conditions apply

When Tony Abbott stepped up to claim victory for the Coalition in September, he declared Australia was “under new management and once more open for business”. One hundred days on, we look at the open for…