Using Russia’s sickening invasion of Ukraine to call for the expansion of the New Acland coal mine is a new low for the project’s supporters, according to Oakey Coal Action Alliance and Lock the Gate Alliance.
If built, the New Acland Stage 3 expansion would destroy some of the best farming country in Queensland, put at risk the production of at least 10 million litres of milk each year from local dairies, and render many farming bores in the district useless.
It would require 3.5 million litres of water each day, resulting in a 47 metre water drawdown impacting over at least 1200 square kilometres of prime agricultural land.
Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Paul King said, “The short-sightedness from the likes of Keith Pitt who want to see this coal mine expansion built is breathtaking, even for politicians.
“South East Queensland is only just beginning to recover from record flooding that was almost certainly made worse due to the climate crises, which in turn is driven by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.
“There has never been a better time to hasten the fair transition towards renewable energy.”
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said, “Darling Downs farmers must not be collateral damage in Keith Pitt’s pro-fossil fuel posturing.
“We sincerely hope the Queensland Palaszczuk Government recognises this for what it is - sickening war opportunism from the backers of New Acland.
“The Palaszczuk Government must keep its promise. The mine’s impacts on groundwater still need to be properly assessed and any proposed new conditions should be made public before a mining lease is issued. The independent assessment of this project must be allowed to proceed.
“New Acland coal mine shouldn’t be reopened. This area is amongst the best 1.5% of farmland in the state and it produces milk and beef to feed Australia.
“We'd like to see Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk protect the local community and reject the groundwater licence and the mining lease, and let locals move on with their lives.”