Court gives New Acland new hope

coal prices

The Land Court of Queensland has recommended that New Hope Corporation’s New Acland coal mine near Brisbane be granted stage-three mining leases and the environmental authority amendment application, subject to conditions.

New Hope will work with the relevant Queensland Government departments to progress the stage-three approval applications and seek to secure the grant.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive officer Ian Macfarlane said it has taken 14 years for the project to finally reach this stage, with the initial development application lodged by New Hope Group in 2007.

“New Hope’s stage-three expansion of the New Acland mine was approved for development by Queensland’s Coordinator-General in 2014, but to get to this decision today it has taken seven long years of pointless lawfare – at great cost to the taxpayer, the company and to all the employees who lost their jobs,” Macfarlane said.

“The QRC congratulates New Hope on its perseverance, and we look forward to seeing how the project progresses from here.

“Resources projects like this are the reason the Queensland economy and our job market have remained so strong during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In 2017, the Land Court of Queensland was required to consider several public interest issues, including air quality, noise, climate change, physical and mental health, effects of the mine on land value, rehabilitation, and community and social environment in relation to New Acland’s proposed stage three.

An application to the High Court of Australia for special leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal was granted in 2019-20.

In February, the High Court referred the case back to the Land Court of Queensland, as it found second decision to approve New Acland should have been set aside due to bias arising from errors in fairness.

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