A coal truck at New Hope Group's Acland coal mine. Photo Jim Campbell / Chinchilla News
A coal truck at New Hope Group's Acland coal mine. Photo Jim Campbell / Chinchilla News Jim Campbell

Conservationists urge MPs to oppose Acland mine expansion

MORE than 20 conservation groups have banded together to ramp up their war against New Acland Coal Mine stage three expansion.

The 22 groups, led by the Queensland Conservation Council, sent joint letters this week to each Queensland MP, urging them to oppose the Darling Downs project.

They argued it would destroy prime agricultural land, negatively impact groundwater and increase carbon pollution.

A spokesman for another group backing the letter, Paul King from the Darling Downs Environment, said he did not believe Queensland's food bowl should be sacrificed for short-term mining interests.

But the company behind New Acland, New Hope Group, said since the initial 2007 project application the project had been through two EIS processes, two additional information and response to submissions periods, and five public comment opportunities.

"This is unprecedented for such a project in Queensland - and possibly in Australia," NHG said.

The company said employees had organised an 800-strong walk through nearby Oakey to support the mine and a local petition had attracted 1250 signatures.

The company claims just 509ha of strategic cropping land not 1360ha could be impacted.

NHG said recycled wastewater was purchased and continually recycled.

The letter cited Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's promise to independent MP Peter Wellington before he publicly threw his support behind her that Labor would scrutinise the approval process for stage three and its impacts on the community.

A spokeswoman for Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government was still committed to a process review and the government would make no decision until after the public comment process and following Land Court hearings.

- APN NEWSDESK


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