The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the bipartisan support from Federal Labor and the LNP for the immediate approval of New Hope’s New Acland mine to stop more Queenslanders from unnecessarily losing their jobs.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said it was tragic to hear New Hope had been forced into making redundancies when the extension to the mine at Oakey on the Darling Downs had already been approved by Queensland courts.
“The Queensland Government has sat back and allowed lawfare by a small group of green activists to jeopardise the economic recovery of this State by delaying New Acland. This is a shovel-ready project that has dragged through the court system in Queensland for more than a decade and all challenges against it have been dismissed,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Now the activists have taken the project to the High Court which could delay the start by years more. Queensland needs jobs now and I can tell you these workers and their families need these jobs.
“The State Government is not powerless here. It could step in at any time to approve the mining lease and associated water licence.
“In September, the Premier said the hold up for a decision was to wait for the finalisation of proceedings in the Court of Appeal. The Queensland Court of Appeal has since made its determination which would allow the New Hope expansion to go ahead with the appropriate approvals.
“There’ll be no jobs created by delays in a court room and let’s be clear, at risk here is not just hundreds of New Acland jobs and not just thousands of resources jobs, but the thousands more jobs with all major projects, whether they are wind farms, tourism resorts or other infrastructure.
“There couldn’t be a worse time to stop new jobs in Queensland yet activists are being given the green light to delay and stop any Queensland jobs being created at their political whim.
“The Government has a responsibility, and the mandate, to make decisions in the best interests of all Queenslanders to fact track the economy post-COVID-19.”