The Queensland Government has finished early regulatory work on the New Acland coal mine expansion, allowing New Hope to start an environmental assessment on the project.
In a statement QLD Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the Government had “scaled down” initial plans proposed by New Hope in 2007.
“The revised expansion of the existing New Acland open-cut coal mine will significantly reduce its impact on agricultural land and local communities,” he said.
“It differs from the original proposal in that mining over the town of Acland is no longer proposed, Lagoon Creek would not be diverted, the Jondaryan rail load-out facility would be moved eight kilometres from the town, and mining would move 10 kilometres from Oakey.”
The modified proposal is 2,300 hectares smaller than the original plan, and the consultation period for the expansion was extended to allow the community time to scrutinise the proposal.
Seeney said 67 submissions had been lodged during the comment period, with stakeholders expressing concerns about flooding, groundwater, strategic cropping land, and air and noise impacts.
If approved the $700 million expansion to New Acland is expected to create 220 construction and 570 operational jobs.