Next step towards New Acland mine expansion
FURTHER growth of the New Acland Coal Mine is looming with a new environmental impact statement opened to scrutiny.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has called on the public to comment on the $900 million project, his choice of language making it clear the government is eager for it to go ahead.
"The Queensland Government is committed to growing the state's four pillar economy and ensuring successful co-existence between the agricultural and resource sectors," he said.
Should the New Acland mine expansion go ahead?
This poll ended on 05 October 2014.
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"We also want to deliver more jobs for Queenslanders and this $900 million project could deliver 260 construction jobs and up to 435 operational jobs."
A bid to expand the mine was rejected in 2007 due to its intrusion on farms and proximity to townships.
The proposed project's footprint has since been reduced by about 60 per cent, cutting 1401ha out of the mining lease area, including the town of Acland.
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Other changes included moving operations to 10km outside Oakey, relocating the Jondaryan rail load-out facility 8km out of town and the preservation of the course of Lagoon Creek.
The original 10 million tonne annual output has been cut back to 7.5 million tonnes, reducing the mine's life from 2042 to 2029.
Opponents to the mine remain unconvinced the changes will do enough to protect cropping land nor the health of nearby residents.
"New Hope have shut the township of Acland, grossly polluted another in Jondaryan and shut nearly 80 family farms," Oakey Coal Action Alliance spokesman John Cook said.
"This is Australia in the 21st Century and this should never have been allowed."