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Government urged to stop stalling on New Acland Stage 3

The battle over New Acland Coal's (NAC) Queensland mine began again on Monday over an approved expansion.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is calling on the State Government to stop stalling and declare New Acland Stage 3 a prescribed project.

The call follows what the QRC says is unfounded claims by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) that the Department of Environment and Science was influenced by New Hope Group to award New Acland Stage 3 its Environmental Authority.

The New Acland coal mine, owned and managed by New Hope, has played a key role in the Darling Downs region as an employer and economic contributor since it began operation in October 2002. The Acland Stage 3 Expansion Project is currently sitting with the State Government, awaiting definite approval.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Department of Environment and Science took more than six months to hand down a decision regarding New Acland Stage 3’s Environmental Authority and its decision had been thoroughly and appropriately considered.

“The State Government needs to have faith in its own processes and not be held to ransom by minority activist groups,” he said.

“No resources project in Queensland history has been more scrutinised or assessed than New Acland Stage 3.

“New Hope Group, its workers and the local community have been stuck on a never-ending roundabout for more than 15 years.

“If the relevant government departments and ministers believe New Acland Stage 3 should go ahead, then they should back themselves.

“If the Government believes in its processes and people it needs to declare New Acland Stage 3 a prescribed project.

“Otherwise, it is giving an indefinite green light to groups like OCAA, which is backed by the taxpayer-funded Environmental Defenders Office, to challenge every decision.

“Does the Government really want New Acland Stage 3 to return to the Land Court for a fourth time, and place at risk hundreds of potential new jobs associated with this project?

“It’s time for the Government to act decisively.”

 

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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