The Oakey Coal Action Alliance has accused coal mining company New Hope of offering false hope to Darling Downs workers.
The company is staging a media stunt in Toowoomba today (March 16).
The stunt comes after the Oakey Coal Action Alliance and Lock the Gate appealed the Palaszczuk Government's granting of an associated water licence for New Hope’s New Acland coal mine expansion in January. The state’s Water Department has since confirmed it will review the decision.
The groups argue the department underestimated New Acland Stage 3’s impact on groundwater relied on by farmers in the region when it issued the associated water licence.
Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Paul King said if New Hope wanted to give its workers certainty, it should invest in renewable energy and sustainable projects, not a twilight industry like coal.
“The sad thing is, New Hope is promising what cannot be promised to honest, hardworking individuals,” he said.
“The coal industry’s days are numbered. It’s made a motza thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but this is the industry’s swan song as renewables swiftly replace the fossil fuels of old.
“Rather than risking farmers’ water, and the future of honest Darling Downs workers, New Hope ought to reinvest its war-derived profits into energy projects that will still be around in 10 years’ time.
“Darling Downs dairies that could have operated forever are now shutting down because of the threat New Acland Stage 3 poses to their water and the short-sightedness of New Hope.
“New Hope is a candlestick maker and renewables are the lightbulb. It’s about time the company realised this and invested in clean energy, rather than doubling down on polluting and damaging coal.”