The anti-mining group Lock The Gate has alleged that New Hope Coal has been paying royalties to itself from the controversial Acland coal mine.
Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton said that in many older land title areas in Queensland, royalties were sometimes required to be paid to private landowners if they had title to the subsurface.
“This is the case at Acland on the Darling Downs, where the miner New Hope Coal has purchased the majority of the land earmarked for mining and hence pays royalties to itself,” Mr Hutton said.
“The Queensland Government should not be approving coal mine expansions that impact severely on people and the environment when they do not even provide a return to the taxpayer.
“It has been estimated that the Queensland Government has already effectively ‘lost’ over $400 million in royalties over the life of the Acland coal mine, and will lose more than $400 million more in royalties over the terms of the proposed expansion.
“The community of Acland has been ignored by consecutive governments. This mine has done irrevocable damage to the local community, put local groundwater at risk, ruined rich agricultural land and displaced agricultural businesses.
“The first two stages of the mine caused the removal and destruction of 54 local homes and the purchase of up to 80 surrounding family homes.
“This community has paid the ultimate price for Acland Coal mine, while New Hope Coal has been lining their own pockets with the royalties.
“The Queensland Government should move swiftly to rectify this devastating situation and reject the proposal for the Acland Stage 3 coal mine expansion.”