More than 1300 people have objected to the proposed expansion of New Hope’s Acland mine earmarked for important farmland at the Darling Downs.
Submissions closed this week for the Environmental Assessment and the Mining Lease for the controversial project.
Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Drew Hutton said the State Government was under pressure to honour its pre-election promise to reinstate landholders’ rights to object to the expansion’s environmental assessment.
“The LNP stole people’s rights to object in the middle of the night and the ALP said before the election that they would give those rights back,” Mr Hutton said.
“It’s now time to make good on that promise. The Acland expansion is this government’s first real test of accountability and transparency and the locals don’t want to have their hearts broken again by back-flips.”
He said the expansion would impact more than 1000 hectares of potential Strategic Cropping Land and would destroy important farming land in one of the Australia’s richest agricultural areas.
“The project will also have irreversible impacts on groundwater resources, threaten the headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin and adversely affect biodiversity, including koalas,” he said.
Lock the Gate wrote last week to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk alerting her to legal advice that local community members would not be allowed their day in court, unless the ALP acted swiftly to remedy the situation.
“We are asking you to step in and resolve the problem… as a matter of urgency,” the letter said.
“We dearly hope that the long-suffering communities of Acland and Oakey that have already been so heavily impacted by the negative impacts of this mine are not left in limbo yet again.