Our Successes · Healthy Communities

New Acland coal mine expansion rejected

07 June, 2017

EDO Qld represented more than 60 farmers and residents of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance in one of the largest environmental cases in Australian history - and won. “By recommending against the Acland Stage 3 mine the Land Court has recognised that the impact on our water supplies, our farm businesses and the health of our families are too severe,” OCAA President Paul King said.

Queensland’s Land Court backed concerns raised by local farmers and recommended against the approval of the controversial New Acland Stage 3 coal mine expansion on the Darling Downs near Toowoomba on 31 May 2017.

The decision followed one of the largest environmental cases in Australian history where approximately 40 community objectors (12 active in Court) challenged the expansion of New Hope’s New Acland coal mine by submitting evidence on threats to water, air quality and farming businesses.

Read the key findings 

(Read the extended document of key findings)

Paul King from Oakey Coal Action Alliance, a group of more than 60 farmers and objector in the case proudly represented by EDO Qld, said: “This is an incredibly important outcome for farmers and communities on the Darling Downs and it vindicates our long struggle to protect our district from this risky coal mining expansion.

“By recommending against the Acland Stage 3 mine the Land Court has recognised that the impact on our water supplies, our farm businesses and the health of our families are too severe,” he said.

“OCAA’s members and other landholders have had their lives on hold dealing with this coal mine for 10, long years and now we need absolute certainty that the mine will not proceed.”

Read case studies of farmers

EDO Qld CEO and Solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said: “Today’s win highlights the significance of the courts and community objection rights in holding government and projects accountable under the law and what can be achieved by hardworking members of the community who band together against all odds to challenge deep-pocketed mining companies.

“Without this case, the costs and benefits of this project would not have been scrutinised before the independent Land Court and evidence including faulty groundwater modelling, increased noise and dust risks and complaints, and over-inflated job figures, would not have been exposed.”

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