New Hope mine owners plead for government approval to create jobs
The owner of a proposed new Queensland coal mine – which has been waiting 4736 days for approval – has pleaded for the Palaszczuk Government to give it the final green light once and for all so it can create much-needed jobs for the state.
New Hope boss Andrew Boyd yesterday told The Courier-Mail that while Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had tasked her ministers to find shovel-ready projects to create work during the coronavirus crisis, the company’s Acland Stage 3 mine remained in limbo.
“We are willing and able to help Queenslanders recover from this once-in-a-lifetime event,” Mr Boyd said. “In addition to providing job security and alleviating uncertainty in hundreds of Queensland households, once approved, New Acland Stage 3 will significantly aid Queensland’s economic recovery.”
After almost 13 years of battling bureaucrats, political headwinds and repeated court action by land owners and environmentalists, the mine has all the necessary approvals.
However, the Palaszczuk Government has refused to give the final green light, insisting it needs to wait until the Oakey Coal Action Alliance exhausts its mooted High Court challenge.
Ms Palaszczuk last week ordered ministers to bring forward a works program of private and public sector projects to help Queensland recover from the pandemic.
New Hope estimates the mine will create 487 direct jobs in the first 18 months, provide a $7 billion boost to the economy and keep local suppliers in work.
“Jobs creation throughout Queensland has never been more important and New Hope wants to help.”
However, Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the Government would not change its position on New Acland regardless of the impact that coronavirus was having on the economy.
“The Government’s position on the New Acland Coal Mine expansion has been consistent since our commitment before the 2017 election: to accept the decision of the courts,” he said. “We will await the outcome of the High Court action before finalising the remaining approvals for this project.”