New Acland opponents hopeful of stopping expansion

COAL MINE EXPANSION: Anti-mining groups have expressed confidence in the New Acland stage 3 review.
COAL MINE EXPANSION: Anti-mining groups have expressed confidence in the New Acland stage 3 review. Stuart Cumming

ANTI-MINING groups maintain the future is uncertain for the Acland coal mine expansion after meetings with Queensland's Minister for Mines.

In private meetings with landholders and environmentalists last month, it was reported Minister Anthony Lynham admitted it would be difficult to stop the expansion.

However, Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Nikki Laws said her group maintained confidence in the State Government's review of the project

"Our legal advice is it's possible they can reject the approval," Ms Laws said.

"There's pressure on the government to approve all projects, not just this one. But there are really valid reasons to reject this approval.

"The cropping land is the best in Australia and the water impacts on this project are massive.

"More people are realising the implications of this approval. They've read the Environmental Impact Statement and they're waking up."

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The group's vice-president, Aileen Harrison, was present at one of the meetings in Dalby and said the Minister had given them a fair hearing.

A spokesperson for the Minister said the government was meeting its election promise to review the decision by the previous LNP government, led by Campbell Newman, allowing the mine expansion to go ahead.


"The government committed in Opposition to scrutinise the approval processes of New Acland stage 3 and its impact on local communities," the spokesperson said.

"We are meeting that commitment with a process review.

"The project's next step is Land Court hearings where evidence will be heard from all the interested parties.

The spokesperson said there would soon be opportunities for public comment on the environmental authority proposed.

"I am advised the company will publish public notices in Toowoomba Chronicle and Oakey Champion on May 13 advertising its application for an amended environmental authority.

"The Palaszczuk Government is focused on job creation and we know that business and industry need timely decision-making."

Topics:  acland coal mine oakey coal action alliance

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