The Oakey Coal Action Alliance has claimed victory after the High Court ruled its appeal to the expansion of the New Acland coal mine could be reheard, reports Margaret Gleeson.
New Acland Coal Mine
Farmers have lost an appeal to stop a coal mine extension in the Darling Downs, but they haven't given up.
Regarding the Land Court's 2017 recommendation to refuse the Stage 3 expansion of the New Acland coal mine, Queensland's Court of Appeal decided on September 10 that it does not have the power to consider groundwater quantity impacts when hearing mining objections.
The Queensland Land and Environment Court handed down a decision on New Hope’s New Acland Coal (NAC) mine expansion on November 7. Proponents say it gives them the green light while opponents say the two-day hearing recommended it be rejected.
Almost three years after a community group began a campaign opposing New Hope’s plans to expand its New Acland Coal mine in the Darling Downs, the Queensland Land Court re-heard the case for the mine on October 2-4.
The Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) is continuing its fight to protect farmland and water resources in the Darling Downs in Queensland from the $900 million Stage 3 expansion of New Hope Coal’s New Acland Coalmine (NAC).
It has filed an objection to the Queensland Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the historic Land Court recommendation that Stage 3 be rejected. The Supreme Court has ruled the matter will be referred to a different Member of the Land Court for further consideration.
Members of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) gathered in Acland on February 14 for the Queensland environment department’s decision on the environmental authority for New Hope Coal’s proposed Acland Stage 3 project.
Expecting the worst — that the department would reject the recommendation of the Land Court — local farmers and community members were overjoyed at the decision by Queensland’s Environment and Science Department to reject New Acland’s environmental authority amendment for the Stage 3 coalmine expansion.
A sleeper issue in the recent Queensland election was the inaction by mines minister Anthony Lynham on the Land Court’s ruling of May 31 to reject the application by New Hope Coal for the third stage in the expansion of the Acland coalmine, known as Acland Stage 3, in the agriculturally rich Darling Downs.
Activists from the Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Great Sandy Strait Saviours and Lock the Gate gathered in the park across the road from New Hope Coal’s AGM in Ipswich on November 16 with a message for shareholders.
Accompanied by a giant inflatable cow, the protesters’ message was that New Hope is wasting its money on legal battles and public relations campaigns.
From the time of Adani’s initial application for a mining license for the Carmichael Mine project in October 2010, local farmers and graziers have had concerns about the project’s impact on ground water and the Great Artesian Basin.
This was translated into legal challenges to the Carmichael, Kevin’s Corner and Alpha mines in the Galilee Basin. The controversial Adani project, while still financially dubious, has one legal barrier to overcome. The High Court is set to bring down a decision in March on the appeal by the Traditional Owners, the Wangan and Jagalingou people.
A new research report from the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) has revealed that any move by the Queensland state government to approve the Acland coalmine expansion would represent an unprecedented and radical departure from recent tradition.
Justice Peter Applegarth of the Supreme Court rejected on June 23 the application by New Acland Coal (NAC) for judicial review of the Queensland Land Court’s decision, which recommended rejecting the Stage 3 expansion of the New Hope Mine. He said he was not satisfied irreparable harm would be caused to New Acland Coal and other third parties if a stay was not ordered.
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