Acland coal expansion sent back to drawing board, as farmers call for water licence to be refused

Published: September 10, 2019

Local farmers have called for the Queensland Government to refuse a groundwater licence for the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion, after the Court of Appeal today ruled the Land Court did not have the power to consider groundwater impacts from mining.

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane ruled on technical grounds that the legal mechanism for assessing groundwater impacts of mining should be via the water licencing process rather than the grant of an environmental authority.

Community groups have responded by calling on the Queensland Government to now reject the associated water licence for the coal mine, because of the impacts on groundwater and adjoining farmers.

As a result of the Court of Appeal decision, the two previous Land Court decisions have also been set aside on other grounds, and the case will have to be re-heard in its entirety.

Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Paul King said the project should never have been allowed to proceed due to the harm it would inflict on local farmers, the environment, and the Oakey economy.

“This is a very difficult outcome for local farmers who have lived with this threat for ten long years and now face more uncertainty due to this technicality, while they struggle with a worsening drought and reduced groundwater supply,” he said.

“The farming land around Oakey is classed in the top 1.5 per cent in Queensland. It is madness that it should be destroyed for the sake of a temporary coal mine.”

“Local farmers and residents are determined to protect precious groundwater resources and will be providing the Queensland Government with expert information as to why a water licence should not be granted for the mine.

“We will also be assessing how to provide expert information and historical information to the Land Court re-hearing when it occurs.

Mr King said, “We urge the Queensland Government to stand firm and not approve an associated water licence for the Stage 3 expansion. 

“Local farmers and residents will suffer more if the New Acland Stage 3 project proceeds - they have already battled noise and dust for years, and any expansion will make life unbearable for many locals. 

“This farming country here has been farmed continuously for 150 years and we produce 10 million litres of milk each year.”

Showing 2 reactions

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  • Mary Attwood
    commented 2019-09-11 10:20:53 +1000
    Its about time the community including the farmers realize the damage that minoing is doing to our environment by reducing the ground water which destroys the capacity of mother earth to maintain the moisture levels to keep the land alive, generates moisture to nourish the vegetation, trees and retains and generates rain, its a natural cycle of life.
    Queensland people are now suffering the consequences of what will happen all over Australia, jobs are not the answer and the justification to continue to mine, destroying our environment and the land as is currently the case!
    People are better of alive, living and raising their families broke, or starving, paying for the right to live in this country, and the Government continuing to control and destroy our right to live in harmony with the land and environment.
  • Mary Attwood
    commented 2019-09-11 10:20:52 +1000
    Its about time the community including the farmers realize the damage that minoing is doing to our environment by reducing the ground water which destroys the capacity of mother earth to maintain the moisture levels to keep the land alive, generates moisture to nourish the vegetation, trees and retains and generates rain, its a natural cycle of life.
    Queensland people are now suffering the consequences of what will happen all over Australia, jobs are not the answer and the justification to continue to mine, destroying our environment and the land as is currently the case!
    People are better of alive, living and raising their families broke, or starving, paying for the right to live in this country, and the Government continuing to control and destroy our right to live in harmony with the land and environment.

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