Andy Scouller is the wash plant manager at New Acland Coal Mine.Pic Annette Dew
Andy Scouller is the wash plant manager at New Acland Coal Mine.Pic Annette Dew

New Hope meets with government reps over future of mine

NEW HOPE Group executives met with State Government representatives and the Co-ordinator General's office yesterday to discuss the future of New Acland Coal Mine's Stage 3 project.

New Hope Group chief development officer Ben Armitage will front a media conference this morning to discuss the recent Queensland Supreme Court of Appeal decision, which dismissed an appeal by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance and granted orders requested by New Acland Coal.

New Hope believes the decision means there is now nothing standing in the way for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham from approving the project's mining lease and associated water licence.

The State Government had previously been waiting on the outcome of the Court of Appeal before making a decision on the approvals.

Oakey Coal Action Alliance secretary Paul King urged against the granting of approvals for the mine, claiming "some of the best agricultural land in the state would be destroyed" if it was allowed to proceed.

"Farmers can't afford to see groundwater drained away and Queensland can't afford to lose some of the best farmland in the state," he said.

He also said the State Government should refrain from making a decision about New Acland's associated water licence and mining lease while the company was being investigated by the Department of Environment and Science in relation to allegations of illegal mining at Acland Stage 2.