Key decision on $900 million Acland coal expansion due

A KEY decision on the $900 million New Acland Coal Mine expansion will be handed down today. 

But the fate of the expansion may be months away, even after the Queensland Land Court hands down its decision today.

Member Paul Smith will hand his judgment down in Brisbane, 18 months after the legal battle between New Hope and anti-coal groups began.

But Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham told The Chronicle it could be some time before he decided to approve or reject the company's mining lease application.

"I'll be carefully looking at any decision by the Land Court, especially looking at the leases," he said.

"I'm the final arbiter of the approval, so any decisions from the Land Court will be carefully scrutinised by me and a decision made from that.

"I take advice from my department, especially my director-general (James Purtill), about any mining lease proposal."

The case was further delayed by New Hope submitting more water test reports after deadlines.


Should the New Acland Coal Mine expansion go ahead?

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Opposition leader Tim Nicholls will be in Toowoomba today for the first part of Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise's Political Leaders Series.

He said the LNP was the only party who supported the mine's expansion.

"We are the only party that fully supports New Acland mine - highlighted by our attempts to amend Labor's laws requiring a duplicative assessment process for New Acland's stage 3 expansion," he said.

"We see the Surat becoming a resources hub of excellence under our six key drivers of the Queensland economy.

"As well as resources, the drivers include services - creating opportunities for engineering and environmental scientists."