Heath Aston

Heath Aston is the environment, energy and corporate correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

The proposed site for the coal mine.

The eight-year hitch: Shenhua Watermark coal mine to pass kill date

It has been 2916 days since controversial former state Labor minister Ian Macdonald issued China's state-owned Shenhua a licence to explore for coal in Australia's richest farming region, the Liverpool Plains, in return for a $300 million cash payment to the NSW government.

Barnaby Joyce has been given a campaign headache.

Miner plans to drill for CSG in New England

Fossil fuel giant Santos has submitted new plans to drill for coal seam gas in the heart of Australia's richest farming country, the Liverpool Plains - an area inside Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's hotly-contested seat of New England.