New Hope sheds 150 jobs without New Acland approval

New Hope Group has made 150 New Acland mine workers redundant after not being able to secure the Queensland Government’s approval of its stage three mining leases at the site.

The company today faced a deadline over the New Acland stage three expansion project approval.

New Hope has also been seeking an associated water licence and approval to continue using the Jondaryan rail facility.

The company’s requests to meet with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on the matter have been ignored, according to a statement.

“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.

“Unlike other recently approved mines, New Hope is Australian owned and operated and employs local workers. The 150 workers who stand to lose their jobs and their livelihood will likely be left with no alternative but to leave the region.”

New Hope submitted its first application for New Acland’s stage three expansion in 2007, which was rejected over its potential environmental impacts.

Its mining lease applications and draft environmental authority (EA) were subsequently referred to the Land Court for an objections hearing earlier this year, and have since been satisfied.

“New Hope remains open to working with the Queensland Government to save jobs and secure the future prosperity of Oakey and the surrounding region,” O’Dwyer said.

“Twelve years to wait for approvals is long enough.”

New Hope aims to extend New Acland’s operating life, including the development of three new resources areas within Manning Valle and Willeroo as three new pits.

The expanded New Acland is expected to produce up to 7.5 million tonnes of coal a year over an expected mine life of 14 years.

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