The Lock the Gate Alliance and local farmers have condemned last week’s move by Federal Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to approve the Acland Stage 3 coal mine expansion.
“We’re devastated that the Federal Environment Minister has decided to approve a coal project that will do such extraordinary damage to our water resources,” local cattle producer Frank Ashman said.
Modelling shows the Acland Stage 3 coal expansion is likely to impact 350 groundwater bores and will cause a drawdown in groundwater aquifers of up to 47 metres in some locations.
“Josh Frydenberg has literally hung our farming community out to dry – we’re entirely dependent on water to maintain our long-term farm enterprises,” Mr Ashman said.
“The Minister has put our national food bowl here on the Darling Downs at risk for a short-term mining venture that will be here and gone in 12 years’ time. It’s a disgrace.”
Drew Hutton, the president of Lock the Gate Alliance, said he thought Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce and the National Party should hang their heads in shame.
“Approval of this mine by the Federal Government represents an abject betrayal of their farming constituents,” Mr Hutton said.
“They are hell bent on destroying two of our finest food bowls, the Darling Downs and the Liverpool Plains, and they now represent as great a threat to farmers as the mining industry itself.”
Lock the Gate Alliance and local farmers are calling on the Queensland Government, which has not yet approved the mine, to reject the project and protect farmland and water resources.