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.
Oakey Coal Action Alliance
The Supreme Court in Brisbane on May 2 overturned the Land Court decision of May 31 last year that recommended rejection of the stage 3 expansion of the New Acland (NAC) coalmine on Queensland's Darling Downs.
On February 14, the Department of Environment and Science refused the application for an amended environmental authority to allow for Stage 3, however the minister deferred a decision pending the outcome of the judicial review.
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.
The Queensland Land Court has begun hearing objections to the expansion of New Hope Coal's Acland Stage 3 coalmine in the Darling Downs, one of Australia's richest agricultural and pastoral regions.
There are 27 objectors to the mining lease applications and 35 objectors to the draft Environmental Authority.
The objectors include Oakey Coal Action Alliance, Darling Downs Environment Council, Clean Air Queensland and many local farmers concerned about the impact the coalmine expansion will have on the sustainability of their operations.