Community members gathered at the New Hope Annual General Meeting at Ipswich today to plead with the company’s shareholders to help landholders who will be negatively affected by proposed New Hope coal mine expansions.
The event focused on New Hope’s proposed expansion of the Acland mine stage 3 on the Darling Downs and the proposed Colton mine on the Mary River, near Maryborough, both which will have devastating impacts on local famers, landholders and communities, according to a statement by Lock the Gate.
“Those impacted by both of the proposals have been forced to go to the Land Court in a last-ditch effort to protect their farms, water resources, health and lifestyles,” the statement said.
“Both mines continue to be a major test for the Queensland Government, even as the mining industry and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham are trying to limit the accessibility of impacted people to the court system and restrict the time limits even further.
“Acland Stage 3 coal mine expansion will destroy rich food lands and water resources on the Darling Downs. The Colton coal mine will threaten the health of Aldershot residents, who live just 2km away, and will discharge polluted waste water into the Mary River upstream of the Great Sandy Strait.
“Lock the Gate has asked the State Government to stop both mine proposals and to conduct a far-reaching public inquiry into political donations and mining in Queensland, including investigating $950,000 in donations made by companies associated with the Acland mine to the Liberal/National Party.”
According to Lock the Gate, the Acland Stage 3 Coal Mine:
- Will result in the loss of more 1,300 hectares of Strategic Cropping Land located on the fertile soils of our nationally significant food-bowl on the Darling Downs.
- Will cause drawdown in groundwater aquifers of up to 47m in some locations and will impact negatively on up to 300 water bores
- Will result in the release of poor quality mine water into Lagoon Ck, reducing water quality and degrading surface water supplies.
- Will worsen noise and air quality for people and farmers surrounding the mine, many of whom are already living with negative impacts of the current operations
- Will cause negative impacts on threatened species and communities, including the Koala
- Will allow a treasured and irreplaceable local heritage site, the Acland War Memorial and Tom Doherty Park, to be sold off to New Hope Coal.
- Will leave a final hole or ‘void’ that covers more than 475 hectares.
- Will do little or nothing for the people of Qld, because it is captured by an old title which means that the Qld Government will receive only a tiny fraction of the royalties.