QRC calls for Qld Govt to 'finally' declare New Acland coal extension a 'prescribed project'
THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is calling on the Queensland Government to stop stalling and declare New Hope Group's New Acland Stage 3 a prescribed project.
The call follows what the QRC said were unfounded claims by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) that the Department of Environment and Science was influenced by New Hope Group to award New Acland Stage 3 its Environmental Authority.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Department of Environment and Science took more than six months to hand down a decision regarding New Acland Stage 3’s Environmental Authority and its decision had been thoroughly and appropriately considered.
“The Palaszczuk Government needs to have faith in its own processes and not be held to ransom by minority activist groups,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“No resources project in Queensland history has been more scrutinised or assessed than New Acland Stage 3.
“New Hope Group, its workers and the local community have been stuck on a never-ending roundabout for more than 15 years.
“If the relevant government departments and Ministers Stewart (Mining Leases) and Butcher (Associated Water Licence) believe New Acland Stage 3 should go ahead, then they should back themselves.
“If the Palaszczuk Government believes in its processes and people it needs to declare New Acland Stage 3 a prescribed project," Mr Macfarlane said.
“Otherwise, it is giving an indefinite green light to groups like OCAA, which is backed by the taxpayer-funded Environmental Defenders Office, to challenge every decision.
“Does the Palaszczuk Government really want New Acland Stage 3 to return to the Land Court for a fourth time, and place at risk hundreds of potential new jobs associated with this project?
“It’s time for the Government to act decisively.”