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Queenslanders will gather outside Parliament today to call on the Premier to respect the decision of the Land Court and reject the Acland Stage 3 coal mine on the Darling Downs.
In May, the Queensland Land Court recommended against approval of the Acland Stage 3 coal mine but the government has delayed making a decision on the project.
As Parliament returns after the winter break, farmers from the Darling Downs and their supporters, are rallying to call on the Government to act urgently to protect groundwater resources and reject the mine.
Acland dairy farmer David Vonhoff said “I can’t run my farm without groundwater and the Land Court found that the Acland mine puts our groundwater at risk.
“The Land Court also confirmed that this farming country here is amongst the best 1.5% of agricultural land in Queensland, and it’s ridiculous to destroy that with a coal mine” he said.
President of farming and community group Oakey Coal Action Alliance Paul King said “We can’t understand why the Queensland Government has failed to act on the Land Court recommendation.
“It’s now been two months since the Land Court judgement, and the delay is causing extreme uncertainty and distress for local farmers.
“We’re calling on the Premier and the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines to respect the law and reject this dangerous mining project without any further delay, and then to act to protect the Darling Downs from mining permanently” he said.
Key facts established by the Court are that:
- The proposed mine is located on land that is among the best 1.5% of agricultural land in Queensland.
- The full impacts of groundwater drawdown are uncertain, but it has the potential to adversely affect surrounding farmers for hundreds of years to come.
- More than 93% of royalties – equivalent to an estimated $436M - will be foregone by the Queensland Government, because the mine is situated on old land titles.
- The existing mine has greatly impacted local residents from noise and dust, and has caused the town of Acland to functionally no longer exist
- New Acland significantly over-estimated the job impacts and the net jobs created is estimated at only 680, rather than the 3550 stated in the EIS.