Queensland resources sector demands hope for New Acland

New Acland workers are faced with redundancies because of a “drawn-out approvals process that has pushed the limits of credibility,” according to Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

New Hope Group yesterday shed 150 jobs from the New Acland mine near Oakey and blamed the state government’s process for approving a stage three expansion.

The company is seeking approval for New Acland’s stage three mining leases, an associated water licence and to continue using the Jondaryan rail facility.

Macfarlane said Queenslanders had the right to question the commitment to local workers.

“The future of 150 workers at the Acland mine is up in the air because of outstanding approvals for the next phase of the mine and an associated water licence. The approvals process has been running for 12 years,” Macfarlane said.

“It’s time to end the decade long uncertainty for workers at the New Hope mine and support our resources sector to keep delivering for our state.”

The embattled approval process has culminated in New Hope’s demand for the state government to grant approvals by September 1.

At the recent Labor Party conference, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “Coal, gas and renewable industries…all these jobs are good decent jobs,” according to Macfarlane.

“The Premier can’t expect miners in Central and North Queensland to accept her word that this government supports coal mining.”

New Acland general manager Dave O’Dwyer added: “This Premier stood up and stated to the party faithful last weekend of the importance of regional jobs and the coal sector.

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

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