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Oakey farmers to fight on despite disappointing court ruling

Orders handed down by the Court of Appeal today rule that the challenge against the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion can not go back to the Queensland Land Court for reconsideration, after a judgement last month ruled against the original Land Court process.

“This is a hammer blow for farmers already under severe strain from a worsening drought.  We’re deeply concerned for their well being today,” said Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Paul King.

“Oakey Coal Action Alliance is disappointed by the decision. We are now considering the judgement and our options.

“There is still a massive question mark about groundwater impacts to be considered in relation to this mine.  

“Farmers can’t afford to see groundwater drained away and Queensland can’t afford to lose some of the best farmland in the state. 

“The mine still doesn’t have an associated water licence or planning interest approvals, and we don’t believe they should be granted either given the severe impacts it will cause.

“We’re also calling on the Premier to ensure that no final decisions are made on the project while it is being investigated by the Department of Environment and Science in relation to allegations of illegal mining at Acland Stage 2.

“The Queensland Government should urgently commence a prosecution against New Acland Coal in regard to mining without lawful authorisations at the Acland Stage 2 mine, and no further decisions should be made on the next stage until that is completed.”

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