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New round of long-running battle over controversial Qld mine begins

The latest battle over one of Australia’s most controversial coal mines began on Monday when groups opposing the approved expansion argued new expert evidence justified the flip.

The Queensland government licensed New Acland coal last year. [NAC] As part of the Phase 3 expansion, located approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Toowoomba, the mine will be freed from care and maintenance and will be associated with a mining lease required to begin drilling coal for the power station, which will produce up to 7.5 million tonnes per year of coal. water rights.

The New Acland Thermal Coal Mine near Oakey in the early stages of Phase 2 in 2007.credit:Glenn Hunt

However, they keep their vow to fight the NAC’s longtime enemies, the Oakie Call Action Alliance. [OCAA] and environmental lobby group Rock the Gate have petitioned the Queensland government to review a “shocking error of judgment” regarding the Tier 3 water license and reverse its original decision.

Citing an expert who reviewed the case in the summer, Allied opponents argued that the groundwater modeling presented by the NAC to the Water Authority and that the NAC’s own expert followers included too many uncertainties. , making dubious assumptions and making “likely underestimated” drawdown projections, arguing that it could potentially lead to drying out. Or depleted farm pits.

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“The Parašchuk government should prioritize securing water for farmers over coal,” said OCAA secretary Paul King. “The expansion of New Acland’s coal mines will threaten dairy farms that produce 10 million liters of milk each year and will destroy some of Queensland’s best agricultural land.”

A spokeswoman for mine owner New Hope Group said the government had “critically evaluated New Acland Stage 3 and found it to be environmentally, socially and financially superior.” .

If the Water Authority denies the application, the complainant may try to take the matter back to the Queensland Land Court. The Queensland Land Court has served as a major battleground for disputes over the years and was once the scene of triumphs for challengers on water grounds. Concerns – Until December 2021, the court finally ruled in favor of the miners.

Approved work on the mine expansion began in earnest in November. The New Hope Group at the time had more than 1,000 expressions of interest, mostly from Darling Downs locals, to fill his 600 jobs under construction and his 400 jobs under construction. He proudly said he was sent to the mine.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/fiery-new-round-in-years-long-battle-for-controversial-qld-mine-begins-20230113-p5ccdv.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national New round of long-running battle over controversial Qld mine begins

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