Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has demanded Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk step in to fix the New Acland mine debacle, which risks hundreds of jobs on the Darling Downs due to 12 years of legal ‘lawfare’ against an expansion of the mine.
Minister Canavan said when Premier Palaszczuk steps off the plane from Europe, she needed to step straight up and help save the jobs of New Acland mine workers.
“Premier Palaszczuk is right to cut short her overseas trip and come back to Queensland because of the bushfire crisis – but the New Acland workers are just as worthy of her attention,” Minister Canavan said.
“To date, the Queensland Government is all talk, no action when it comes to protecting and creating mining jobs.
“Since 2007 - 12 long years - New Hope has sought approvals for their Stage 3 expansion of the New Acland mine on the Darling Downs, which would extend the mine’s life until 2031 and boost annual production from 5.2 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes.
“The mine currently employs 300 workers and the planned expansion would secure those jobs and create even more for the region. In a nutshell, more productivity, more local jobs and more money flowing through the region’s economy for years to come.
“Those plans have descended into chaos because of two things - green ‘lawfare’ being waged in the courts against New Hope’s expansion plans, and a gutless, compromised State Labor Government which has refused to back Queensland workers over green activists.”
“As we’ve seen in recent weeks, the Queensland Labor Government’s brilliant plan to defend the jobs attached to New Acland mine involved:
- a)sitting on their hands for years, and
- b)waiting for the outcome of a Queensland Court of Appeal case
“We now know the result of that court case – it’s back to square one for New Hope, while the future of hundreds of its workers hangs in the balance.
“The Queensland Labor Government must stand up to the troublemakers who seek to weaponise our legal system against the development of resource projects.
“They must stand up for Queensland’s resources industry, which is pretty much the only thing keeping the Queensland economy afloat right now, contributing 1 in every 8 jobs and around $4.3 billion in royalties for the State.
“The state is on the verge of being run by a mob of ill-informed green activists hell bent on shutting down our most successful sector.
“Premier Palaszczuk must prove that she runs the state – not them – by not letting the government’s approvals process be hijacked by judicial activism.”