Premier gives mine big tick despite no green light

 

Annastacia Palaszczuk flew to regional Queensland to spruik the "final approvals" of a new coal mine despite her Government having not ticked off on two mining leases.

The Premier, with her Treasurer and local MP, celebrated the approvals for the $1 billion Olive Downs coal mine on Tuesday while in Mackay.

But The Courier-Mail can reveal two of the five MLAs have not been granted, while the other three were given the green light the day of the announcement - and a week out from an election campaign.

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Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Tuesday, "Olive Downs is good to go. Olive Downs has got all of the approvals in place. We've given the tick."

A government spokesman said the mine had received the necessary final approvals that allow the mine to be built and commence operating.

"That means under current leases, preparatory works can start, after which mining can and will begin," he said.

"The three leases Pembroke Resources has been granted are for 30 years.

"Further lease applications are for a planned expansion of the mine that is projected to take place after the mine has been operating for an expected nine years."

But LNP mines spokesman Dale Last said this was another example of Labor trying to "hoodwink voters" on the eve of an election.

The Government has been spruiking its commitment to resources across the regions on the eve of the election this week, with Treasurer Cameron Dick visiting Mackay again yesterday to announce a re-elected Palaszczuk Government would deliver a Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan.

Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk with Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk with Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: Alix Sweeney

But the Government came under fire for its Olive Downs announcement, with Ms Palaszczuk being accused of double standards after it was revealed the project was still before the courts because landowner Sunland Cattle Co had asked a Supreme Court judge to review a decision by the Land Court President.
It follows the Government repeatedly refusing to give certainty around the New Acland Stage Three coal mine because it was also still before the courts.

Sunland director Paul Harris, who runs in excess of 10,000 head of Wagyu cattle, said the

proposed mining would gradually reduce his water supply from the Isaac River.

Pembroke Resources, the proponent behind Olive Downs, said the granting of the remaining two leases would follow the resolution of compensation with landholders.

"There is no intention to be mining on land covered by these leases for well over a decade, so there is plenty of time to resolve this matter in the courts in the interim," they said.

They said the Land Court found issues raised about groundwater and surface water "were not sufficient to justify refusal of the Mining Leases or the imposition of conditions on the Mining Leases."

Originally published as Premier gives mine big tick despite no green light



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