New Hope Group has welcomed a Queensland Court of Appeal judgement that a Land Court recommendation regarding a groundwater issue at the New Acland coal project was “infected by apprehension of bias.”
The Queensland Court of Appeal decided that due to the separate authority concerning the interference of groundwater, the Land Court did not have authority to consider the impacts of New Acland stage three project upon the area’s groundwater.
This ruling delivers a win for New Hope against the local landowners collective, Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA).
OCAA submitted its concerns regarding groundwater, noise and social and environmental impact at the site to the Land Court in 2017.
New Hope stated that the court of appeal would hand down its final orders in due course.
“The company is pleased with the outcome and will wait for the Court (of Appeal) to make its final orders before assessing the next steps for the New Acland stage three project,” the media statement read.
“New Hope remains committed to delivering the New Acland stage three project in a timely manner to ensure continuity of operations and ongoing employment in the region.”
New Hope made 150 workers redundant earlier this month due to the absence of approval from the Queensland Government by the deadline on September 1.
The company still needed approval for its stage three mining leases, an associated water licence and to continue using the Jondaryan rail facility.
“It’s astounding we’ve heard nothing from the Palaszczuk Government. … New Hope first sought approvals for New Acland stage three back in 2007,” New Acland Coal general manager Dave O’Dwyer said.
“Twelve years to wait for approvals is long enough.”