December 19, 2014
The State Government announced this evening that the controversial $900 million New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 expansion will go ahead, subject to the Federal Government signing off on the project.
Deputy Premier and Member for Callide Jeff Seeney said the Co-ordinator-General’s approval of the project would be subject to 137 strict conditions to manage its impact.
“Today’s decision from the Co-ordinator General is a significant step towards construction of this mine and great economic news for the Darling Downs and south-east Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.
“This mine expansion is set to create over 250 jobs during construction and another 435 operational jobs, as well as providing business opportunities in the nearby towns of Dalby, Oakey, Pittsworth and others.
“The reduced scope of this project in response to local concerns is a good example of a resource company working hard to achieve community confidence.”
In February 2012, the LNP specifically ruled out any expansion of the mine as part of the party’s election campaign.
However, Mr Seeney said today the State Government had not supported New Acland Coal’s original 2007 expansion plan due to its effect on high quality agricultural land and proximity to local townships.
“Since 2012, the proponent has reduced the project’s footprint by around 60 per cent and has relinquished 1401ha or 28 per cent of the mining lease area, including the town of Acland,” he said.
Other significant changes include:
The Co-ordinator General has also imposed conditions covering groundwater, including baseline studies and ongoing monitoring of water bores.
Other key conditions in the Coordinator-General’s report include:
The New Acland mine expansion will now be considered by the Federal Minister for the Environment for approval under the EPBC Act.
If approved, the proponents would then need to seek State Government approval for a mining lease under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and an Environmental Authority under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.