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Media Releases · Energy & Climate

Court backs farmers in New Acland freeze refusal

23 June, 2017

In another win for local farmers, Queensland’s Supreme Court has rejected New Acland’s bid to freeze a legal recommendation to outright refuse their controversial Stage 3 mine expansion on the best agricultural land in Queensland.

The following media statement is from EDO Qld client Oakey Coal Action Alliance:

Following an unprecedented win in the Land Court last month, recommending the outright refusal of the New Acland Stage 3 expansion, the mining company applied for both an application for stay and a judicial review of the recommendation.

The stay would have prevented the state government making any decisions in relation to mining applications for Stage 3 until New Acland’s ’challenge of the Land Court recommendation concluded.

Paul King, President of Land Court objector Oakey Coal Action Alliance and local resident said: “The Court has rightly rejected New Acland’s attempt to gag state government decisions in relation to this unwanted project.

“We expect the Supreme Court to find no problems with the Land Court’s recommendation to refuse Stage 3 should New Acland’s appeal go ahead. We have the facts on our side.

“It’s time for New Acland to pack up and let us keep farming the best agricultural land in state - like we have for the past century.

“Our community needs the state government to make a swift amendment to Stage 3 approvals based on the recommendation of the Land Court.

“Let us get on with our lives and restore our community without continued fear of attack on our health, livelihoods and futures.”

CEO and Solicitor Jo Bragg of EDO Qld, lawyers for OCAA in the Land Court case, said: “This is a win for our client and the Acland community who have been suffering from the impacts of this mine for the best part of a decade.

“New Acland has applied for judicial review to ultimately have the Land Court’s recommendations struck out and have its case reconsidered. Today we asked to be included in those proceedings so the communities voice does not go unheard. The Court agreed.

“New Acland had every opportunity over 18 months in the Land Court to put forward its case. The Land Court gave a clear and unequivocal recommendation that this mine should not proceed due to impacts on groundwater and good quality Darling Downs agricultural land. We fully expect the Supreme Court will find no legal fault in this recommendation.”

The directions hearing for the judicial review is scheduled for 17 July 2017.

Case summary

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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