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There could be a long wait for New Acland expansion decision

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has hinted the decision on the New Acland Coal Mine expansion could be pushed back as late as March, saying the government would make its choice on the final ruling.

Speaking at a grain plant in Mt Tyson west of Toowoomba, deep in LNP heartland, Ms Palaszczuk made the comments while delivering the Government's new agricultural policies for the coming election.

A judicial review in the Supreme Court by the mine's owner New Hope will attempt to overturn the Land Court's decision in March, when member Paul Smith recommended the expansion be rejected.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Mt Tyson chats with Brad Klowss (left) and Chris Gilbert. from Aust-Mech Conveyor Systems. Queensland Election 2017. November 2017
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Mt Tyson chats with Brad Klowss (left) and Chris Gilbert. from Aust-Mech Conveyor Systems. Queensland Election 2017. November 2017 Bev Lacey

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said he would have to make a call on the matter by January after pushing back the decision making process, though that could be extended further.

But in front of a hostile media pack, Ms Palaszczuk said the final outcome could still be months away.

"That is currently under judicial review, and I can't interfere with the process," she said.

"What I've said very clearly is we will accept the absolute decision from that judicial review.

"Whatever that judicial review says, if we are elected, we'll accept it."

 

On a day that was meant to help the Labor Government find new voters in the Darling Downs, the party's candidate for Condamine Brendon Huybregts was nowhere to be seen, as he was unable to get time off work.

When asked who the candidate was, Ms Palaszczuk couldn't remember his full name or what he did for work.

"Yes, unfortunately he can't be here today because he's actually at work and he couldn't get leave from work to be here," she said, fumbling through sheets.

A journalist was forced to come to her aid on the matter.

The goodies in Labor's new policy promises for the agricultural sector included $5 million more for cluster fencing in western Queensland, $1 million for further research in chickpeas, and low-interest loans for silo construction.

The $29 million package was a sign the Government cared about the bush, according to the Premier.

 

 

Topics:  annastacia palaszczuk qldelection2017 toowoomba


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