Darling Downs residents are looking forward to their day in court following today’s historic overturning of laws designed to stop them objecting to the devastating impacts they would face, should the Acland coal mine expansion go ahead.
Members of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) and Lock the Gate Alliance congratulated the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Natural Resources and Mines Minister, Anthony Lynham on amending the Bill.
State Parliament today passed a Bill revoking Section 47D of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, thus restoring objections rights to projects classified as 'coordinated projects', including New Hope’s Acland stage 3 expansion.
OCAA vice-president, Aileen Harrison said her group was “relieved” the Bill had been passed.
“Farmers and concerned groups of the Darling Downs and throughout Queensland will now have a chance to save our food bowls, underground and surface water,” she said. “The politicians wanting to give our agricultural land over to mining don’t seem to realise we’ll all need farmland and water to feed our growing population.”
Another OCAA member Frank Ashman, said he and his wife, Lynn feared the water bores on their beef stud would be impacted if the mine expansion were approved.
Mr Ashman said: “We see this as a major step forward for democracy; to be deprived of our right to object is almost criminal. We just hope that common sense will prevail, that the expansion won’t be allowed and our precious water and agricultural land will win over mining.”
Before the last State Election, the ALP promised to overturn the legislation, introduced by the LNP three minutes to midnight in Parliament last year.
Lock the Gate’s Drew Hutton said he was disappointed so many LNP members spoke against reversing the draconian laws including Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, Andrew Cripps, Deb Frecklington, Jarrod Bleijie, Trevor Watts and Ray Stevens.
“The ALP has obviously learned the lesson that voters don’t like to be taken for granted and that they expect politicians to stand by their promises,” Mr Hutton said. “We sincerely thank the ALP for listening to communities and delivering on their pre-election commitment on this issue.
“But the LNP continues to stand up for its greedy mining mates and opposing Queenslanders’ basic right to object to mining projects that will impact them.
“The LNP must learn to respect the people who make this state great by fighting for our water, food-producing land and communities.”