Cattle grazing on rehabilitated land at the New Acland coal mine (Photo: New Hope)

June 23, 2022

New Acland Coal has agreed to spend $2 million to further rehabilitate about 100 hectares of land at its controversial mine near Acland.

The rehabilitated land will be improved from grazing to vegetated habitat suitable for koalas and other fauna.

The company has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Department of Environment and Science.

The undertaking follows investigations into an alleged unauthorised disturbance in an area at the company’s mine known as West Pit.

The EU can be considered as an alternative to other forms of enforcement action.

New Acland Coal applied for the EU and the department accepted the application.

The agreement includes the establishment of a wildlife corridor connecting existing known koala populations and habitat along the Lagoon Creek conservation zone to its post-mine landform at West Pit.

The pit will be rehabilitated and planted with vegetation suitable to support koala habitat as opposed to grazing.

As part of the agreement, New Acland Coal has also committed to the long-term protection of the area known as Bottle Tree Hill by way of a preservation covenant with the State of Queensland.

The preservation covenant is designed to ensure the security and conservation of this high value ecological area in perpetuity.

The company has also committed to reviewing staff skills, training and its permit to disturb system.

The EU finalises the department’s inquiries into this matter.

A spokesperson said it was an appropriate enforcement outcome with direct environmental benefits.

The EU will result in a net gain of approximately 140ha for conservation and koala habitat after mining at New Acland.

The department will monitor New Acland Coal’s compliance with the undertaking.

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