What's the next step for the Colton coal mine?
UPDATE: Mining group New Hope have said they are pleased with the Land Court's recommendation on the Colton coal mine, stating they were looking forward to the next step of the approvals process.
It follows as the court ruled that the controversial mine be approved, subject to renewed environmental conditions imposed by the court.
"New Hope Group is pleased with the Land Court's recommendation that the Colton Coal Mine be granted a Mining Lease," a spokesperson from New Hope said.
"This is just one step of the approvals process and we now look forward to the Minister's final decision."
EARLIER: THE approval of the Colton coalmine has drawn comment from all sides of the debate, with many speaking out against the environmental impacts the mine could have on areas around Maryborough and Aldershot.
Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton called the decision a "particularly poor judgment" because it did not consider what the impacts of the mining discharge would be on the Fraser Coast waters.
"It's just symptomatic of weak legislation that allows any mining application to get through regardless of the merits or demerits of the project," he said.
"I share with the concerns of locals; the discharge can vary in quality, but it's never free from contamination."
Spokesperson for Wide Bay Burnett Protection Alliance Vicki Perrin opposed the decision, but said it was a great opportunity for Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Steven Miles to "step up...(and) have a little more land sense."
Do you think the Colton coal mine should go ahead?
This poll ended on 19 November 2016.
Yes; it provides jobs for the region and will boost our economy.
No; it's bad for the environment and the locals.
Unsure; we need to know more about the proposal and/or environmental impact.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Our readers were split on the announcement, with some indicating their support for the jobs the mine would bring.
"Good to hear; it is top quality coal and ideal for steel manufacturing. It will be a good boost to the area. Given current prices a $500 million boost pa," Maryborough resident Michael Stevenson wrote.
"(It's) good for the area; will create employment," Mick Simpson wrote.
Others were less sympathetic in their responses. "Amazed that this could ever be approved in a society concerned with climate change and the need to stop coalmining and put our money into renewable energy sources. So short-sighted," Hervey Bay resident Sally Kay wrote.
"Stupid. Let's just continue on regardless and kill our planet slowly but surely," Sue Brooks wrote.