Lock the Gate Alliance has warmly congratulated New Hope Coal on its decision to abandon its Stage 3 New Acland expansion and instead transition its business to a wholly renewable energy company.
The formerly coal focused resources company had been under sustained pressure from farmers and community groups for more than a decade to abandon its Stage 3 expansion due to the threat it posed to prime farmland and the underground water table.
The now abandoned thermal coal mine expansion would have threatened the production of 10 million litres of milk each year from local dairies and would have required 3.5 million litres of water each day, leading to a 47 metre groundwater drawdown over at least 1200 square kilometres of prime agricultural land.
New Hope was also facing increasing criticism from investors over its stubborn unwillingness to move with the times and embrace fossil fuel free energy.
Speaking from a paddock not far from the town of Acland, whose last remaining houses would have been destroyed to make way for the expansion, local dairy cow Bessie (stud name, Tandurngabah Highland Queen the Fourth) welcomed New Hope’s decision.
“New Hope’s udderly lacklustre attempts at rehabilitation at its New Acland mine site couldn’t feed half a herd of goats, let alone a quality milker like me,” she said.
“Once the high quality farmland of the Downs is ripped up for coal mining, it simply cannot be restored.
“The fine people of Queensland want their milk fresh and of good quality, and thanks to New Hope’s decision to scrap the New Acland expansion, that’s what they’ll continue to get.
“As a discerning dairy cow, I have a thirst for clean, fresh water on my farm. I’m over the moon that New Hope won’t be putting our water at risk anymore.
“I and the rest of my herd warmly welcome New Hope’s decision to moove out of coal and into renewable energy.
“We look forward to watching the Darling Downs grow and prosper thanks to sustainable jobs in renewable energy and farming, rather than the boom and bust cycle of fossil fuels.”