Local farmers and Lock the Gate Alliance have today condemned the move by the Federal Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to approve the Acland Stage 3 Coal expansion near Toowoomba on the Darling Downs of Queensland.
Affected local cattle producer Frank Ashman said: “We’re devastated that the Federal Environment Minister has decided to approve a coal project that will do such extraordinary damage to our water resources”.
Modelling shows that the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion is likely to impact 350 groundwater bores and will cause drawdown in groundwater aquifers of up to 47m in some locations.
“Josh Frydenberg has literally hung our farming community out to dry – we’re entirely dependent on water to maintain our long-term farm enterprises,” Mr Ashman said.
“The Minister has put our national food-bowl here on the Darling Downs at risk for a short-term mining venture that will be here and gone in 12 years’ time. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance, said:“Barnaby Joyce and the National Party should hang their heads in shame today.
“Approval of this mine by their Federal Coalition Government represents an abject betrayal of their farming constituents.
“They are hell bent on destroying two of our finest food bowls, the Darling Downs and the Liverpool Plains, and they now represent as great a threat to farmers as the mining industry itself,” he said.
Local farmers and Lock the Gate Alliance are calling on the Queensland Government, which has not yet approved the mine, to reject the project and protect farmland and water resources.