Lock the Gate has lodged a wide-ranging complaint with the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in relation to about $1 million of political donations to the Liberal Party of Australia made by the Acland Stage 3 coal mine proponent and its parent company.
The group’s president, Drew Hutton said the complaint should be fully investigated before a decision is made on the environment authority for the Acland Stage 3 coal project, which is due to be approved this week.
Mr Hutton said there were major concerns about the process by which the Newman Government reversed its position on the Acland Stage 3 coal project from 2012 to 2014, going from opposition to the project to supporting a major expansion.
Mr Hutton said the current State Government needed to fulfil its promise for the CCC to investigate political donations scandals, including the New Hope donations, before it approved the Acland Stage 3 coal mine.
“The Qld ALP Government promised a new era of accountability and transparency in Queensland and that has to start now with the Acland coal project," he said.
"There is a cloud hanging over this project and the community cannot have any confidence that it has been approved on its merits until a thorough inquiry has been completed.
"The current state government came to power promising a wide-ranging inquiry into political donations and any links with approval processes but that has not yet commenced.
“Unfortunately time is running out for the Acland Stage 3 coal project.
"We've compiled a detailed complaint to the CCC calling for an urgent inquiry into the Acland Stage 3 project and we're calling for the decision on the Environmental Authority to be delayed until the CCC has fully investigated the matter.
“Basic accountability demands that election promises by the Queensland ALP are delivered before this controversial project is approved," he said.
- The Acland coal mine proponent, New Hope Corporation, and its parent company Washington H Soul Pattinson, donated approximately $950,000 to the Liberals over a time period in which the Newman Government reversed its opposition to the Acland Stage 3.
- New Hope is also the proponent of a second mine, the Colton coal mine near Maryborough, which was also apparently fast-tracked in the last year of the Newman Government.
- The ALP’s promised CCC inquiry into links between political donations and Newman Government decision has not yet commenced.
Drew Hutton Ph: 0428 487 110
Kate Dennehy Ph: 0419 432 624