Oakey farmers and their supporters are ramping up their opposition to the New Acland Stage 3 thermal coal mine, and are demanding the Queensland Palaszczuk Government reject the polluting and water draining proposal once and for all.
Yesterday, the state’s Coordinator General released a report implementing the Land Court’s recommendations, changing the conditions for the project.
The QLD Government is now required to make decisions on the project’s mining lease and water licence.
Oakey Coal Action Alliance spokesperson Paul King said it was a travesty that the impact the mine would have on the region’s groundwater had never truly been considered.
New Hope was also recently reportedly pushing for special consideration from the Palaszczuk Government to prevent any future legal challenges from Oakey farmers.
“Oakey is in economic recovery and going gangbusters since the New Acland mine closed,” Mr King said.
“Business and employment were in decline during the life of the mine, but things have turned around since its closure. This mine must never be re-opened.
“The New Acland coal mine caused unnecessary division in the Darling Downs community and it’s time for the Palaszczuk Government to put an end to this and finally reject this expansion.
“The mine’s impact on groundwater has never been properly considered. The project was rejected by the Land Court on water grounds initially, but subsequent law changes saw that overturned.
“The coming decision on the water licence is crucial, and we’re calling on the QLD Palaszczuk Government to reject it given the large number of water bores that will be drained and the massive threat that water loss poses to the dairy industry.
“It is disgraceful that New Hope coal has been pushing publicly to remove community objection rights to challenge any water licence or mining lease.
“We’re calling on the Palaszczuk Government to rule out giving New Hope any special deals to bulldoze community objections and disenfranchise local farmers of legal rights.”