The judicial member presiding over the legal challenge against the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion on the Darling Downs last night threatened New Acland Coal with contempt proceedings, and forced them to apologise and correct media statements which he described as "an attack on the integrity of the Land Court."
Even though final submissions in the case closed in early October, on the 19th December, New Acland Coal made an extraordinary application to the court to re-open evidence, leading to a likely delay of several months.
However, New Acland was then reported in the media complaining about the additional delay and calling for time limits on Land Court proceedings.
Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance said “New Acland Coal seem to have been playing fast and loose with the truth, and it’s finally caught up with them.
“They were forced to apologise to the Land Court last night and to correct media statements where they criticised the Land Court for causing unacceptable delays to their mining project, despite the delays being largely caused by their own eleventh hour bid to re-open evidence.
“This type of deceitful double game is exactly what communities have had to put up with from New Acland for the last decade, and we’re pleased that the Land Court has called them to account.
“After all the unproven and ill-founded attacks by the mining lobby on community groups who take legal action, it turns out it is the industry itself that has been trying to undermine the rule of law in Queensland. The hypocrisy is breath-taking,” he said.