The decision by Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) to seek leave to appeal Queensland Court of Appeal final orders has been labelled as nothing more than a mechanism to attempt to delay final decision making on the Stage 3 Project.
The decision by Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) to seek leave to appeal Queensland Court of Appeal final orders has been labelled as nothing more than a mechanism to attempt to delay final decision making on the Stage 3 Project. New Hope Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Boyd said while fair and reasonable legal action was everyone's right, the actions of OCAA were nothing more than lawfare designed to delay a vital regional project. "We have been seeking approval to expand New Acland Mine for more than 12 years," Mr Boyd said. "Over the past two years we have fought and won a series of legal battles against a handful of objectors to the project. "In the latest fight, the highest court in Queensland ruled definitively in our favour, a fact OCAA has acknowledged by not challenging the Court of Appeal's findings on the substantive issues. "This latest stunt by OCAA has nothing to do with groundwater or any other environmental issue. "It is clear that this action is nothing more than an attempt to delay final decisions on Stage 3." Mr Boyd said OCAA's application seeking leave to appeal to the High Court does not change the position that there is no barrier to the State Government giving final approvals for the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project. "We are calling on the Queensland Government to immediately grant the required Mining Leases, an Associated Water Licence and approval for the continued use of the Jondaryan loadout facility," Mr Boyd said. "In September the Premier said she was waiting on the Court of Appeal. "In Parliament last week the Premier said the Court of Appeal had handed down its decision and that she was sure Minister Lynham was going through due process. "We need the Merry-Go-Round ride to stop and the Government to give us the approvals we require so we can ensure continuity of operations at the mine. "We recently had to cut 150 jobs due to government inaction. If this Government doesn't approve Stage 3 there will be more job losses later next year." Obtaining final approval will not only provide certainty for the current workforce but help create approximately 400 new jobs in the region. New Acland Stage 3 is expected to generate $7 billion in economic activity over the estimated 15 year life of the Project. (ends)