New Hope workers rally outside Queensland Parliament House in support of New Acland Stage Three.
New Hope workers rally outside Queensland Parliament House in support of New Acland Stage Three. Geoff Egan

New Acland workers dig in against proposed laws

MORE legal delays to the New Acland mine could cost jobs, the mine owner has warned.

About 700 workers from miner New Hope rallied outside Queensland Parliament House on Tuesday calling for the mine to be exempted from proposed groundwater legislation.

The Queensland Government's proposed underground water management legislation could mean the New Acland stage three expansion could be again challenged in the Land Court - 10 years after it first applied for expansion.

But Environment Minister Steven Miles told Parliament he had met with New Hope workers and management in order to work through the issues.

New Hope chief operating officer Andrew Boyd told the rally the  existing mine was running out of land.

Mr Boyd said New Hope had no problem with the legislation itself but was concerned the mine would again be challenged in the courts.

"Time is quickly running out for New Acland and the over 700-plus employees and contractors who rely on the mine for their livelihood," he said.

During question time Mr Miles was asked about the protest and whether he supported coal workers.

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He said had met with New Hope workers and planned to meet with them and company management again this week.

"We will continue to work with the workers affected and the company," he said.

Before question time began, Opposition Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington moved a motion that debate on the proposed legislation take place tonight.

Shadow mines minister Andrew Cripps said if the motion was successful the LNP would move the New Acland mine and the Adani Carmichael mine in central Queensland be exempted from the interim measures.

But anti-coal group Lock the Gate has continued to call for New Acland stage three to be blocked.

Lock the Gate spokesman Frank Ashman said farmers needed the assurance groundwater would remain safe.

"The proposed Acland stage three coal mine puts all that at risk - it is likely to cause damage to over 350 water bores that our farming community depends on," he said.

Parliament will debate the LNP motion at 6pm tonight.