Queensland deputy-premier, Jeff Seeney, has welcomed the renewed application by New Hope Coal for expansion of the Acland coal mine despite Campbell Newman’s promise before the state election that the company would not be allowed to go ahead with its plans.
Mr Seeney said today the new mine expansion plans would limit the footprint of the development and so it could well be acceptable to the government.
Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this was a flagrant and unacceptable breaking of a solid election promise.
“It should not be a question of limiting the footprint of the mine expansion. The Newman government should accept, as they did before the election, that the whole of the eastern Darling Downs should be out-of-bounds to destructive coal mining.
“Overseas studies of the health impacts of coal mining show one very clear thing: one of the most unhealthy places to live is next to a coal mine and many people live on the eastern Darling Downs and will be in the affected zone for particulate pollution.”
Mr Hutton also reminded the Newman government of the many promises made by New Hope over the years that have never been carried through, the main one being that they would move the Jondaryan coal dump that has plagued the people of the township for the last ten years.
“If it was good enough for the Newman government to stop the nearby Felton coal mine from going ahead, they should also be prepared to follow through on their promise to stop Acland,” Mr Hutton said.