Andy Scouller is a wash plant manager at New Acland Coal Mine. Picture: Annette Dew
Andy Scouller is a wash plant manager at New Acland Coal Mine. Picture: Annette Dew

Tentative date set for Acland High Court application

UNCERTAINTY over the future of New Hope Group's New Acland Stage 3 expansion could be laid to rest by late May.

Both New Hope and the Oakey Coal Action Alliance have confirmed a tentative date to hear the OCAA's application for special leave to appeal to the High Court has been set down for sometime between May 18 and 29. 

A New Hope spokesman said the High Court had requested both New Acland Coal Mine and the Oakey Coal Action Alliance make verbal submissions. 

If the application for special leave to appeal is dismissed, it would clear the way for the State Government to consider the mine's outstanding approvals - something State Government Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham confirmed he was waiting on in February. 

If leave to appeal is granted, it could be another six to 12 months wait for a decision. 

Regardless of the outcome of the application, New Hope Group has maintained the State Government has all the information it needs to make decision on the project's outstanding approvals.

The mine has been chasing approvals for the controversial Stage 3 project for 12 years. 

In recent years it has been tied up in a series of legal battles with the OCAA. 

OCAA sought leave to appeal to the High Court in December last year. 

The application relates to the September 2019 Queensland Court of Appeal decision, which dismissed both grounds of the alliance's appeal and found an historic Land Court decision over the mine was affected by apprehended bias. 

New Hope hoped to have a decision from the State Government on its outstanding approvals by September 1 last year.
The company made 150 workers redundant and ramped down production after that date passed. 

OCAA is fighting the expansion to protect what it says is some "of the best agricultural land in Australia" and to have a say over the mine's effect on groundwater.



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