Presenting the petition to the Clerk of the Parliament Neil Laurie, centre, were Member for Toowoomba South John McVeigh, Member for Condamine Pat Weir, Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts and  Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

May 7, 2015

A community petition supporting the amended Acland Stage 3 mine project has been presented to State Parliament.

In a show of solidarity, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington was joined by Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts, Member for Condamine Pat Weir and Member for Toowoomba South John McVeigh as she tabled the 1250 signatures.

Mrs Frecklington said the petition called on the State Government “to do what was necessary” to allow the project to go ahead.

“This government keeps telling us jobs are a priority, and the LNP is determined to hold them to account,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Our communities understand the enormous benefits the Acland mine can provide to local regions and the petition is a practical document showing the depth of support for the project.

“The petition was made available at many local venues, like our pubs, butcher shops, hairdressers and garages and has been signed by local people who understand the importance of this industry.

“The signatories are united in voicing their support for the amended Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project; one that can bring further employment and wealth to the district that surrounds the mine site.”

Now that the petition has been tabled in State Parliament it will require a direct response from the Government.

“I also plan to table a Question on Notice asking the Premier to confirm her government’s intentions for securing the hundreds of jobs which are under threat if the Stage 3 approval isn’t given,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“I would like to congratulate the organisers of the petition and thank everyone for their show of support.

“I don’t think the current Labor Government understands the importance of this project to the local economy.

“This proposal has been independently assessed and scrutinised by Queensland’s Independent Coordinator-General, and has 137 environmental conditions imposed on it.

“This is an example of development and environmental concerns being balanced for the greater good of the economic development of this State.

“Locally this will provide 700 jobs for people around this region and will go a long way in securing the future of small towns while at the same time meeting the concerns of the community in relation to the footprint on agricultural land.

“However, knowing Labor’s track record it is entirely possible they may choose to ignore these wins and bow to the demands of the vocal Green minorities.

“For a government that talks about jobs as a priority, let’s see if Labor lives up to its promise or crumbles once again.”

Footnote: At the recent State election, the Nanango electorate  booths closest to the Acland mine both showed strong support for Mrs Frecklington. At the Goombungee booth, she had 326 votes while anti-Acland campaigner Ray Hopper (KAT) had 126 and the ALP 112; at the Haden booth, Mrs Frecklington had 139 votes while Mr Hopper had 23.

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