REACTION: New Acland supporters, protesters claim win
SUPPORTERS and protesters of the New Acland Coal Mine expansion have both claimed small wins in the latest chapter of the saga.
While employees and the union believe the latest decision from the Land Court paves the way for a new environmental authority to be issued, environmental activists and farmers argued the court had not lessened the restrictions from 18 months ago, when the expansion was rejected.
Mine employee and CFMMEU representative Michael Hartin was in the courtroom yesterday as President Fleur Kingham ruled on the project, owned by Australian company New Hope.
Mr Hartin said he was positive about the future of the expansion, and wanted to see it approved.
"The judge has formed a view that the project should go ahead and has her support," he said.
"There will be another environmental authority application to be completed and submitted to the coordinator-general of Queensland.
"We certainly see it as a positive step for our union's perspective and our workers' perspective."
But Oakey Coal Action Alliance spokesman Paul King said he believed New Hope would be caught out with the coordinator-general relating to conditions around noise limits at night.
"President Fleur Kingham has found the mine should not be approved with conditions that are less than the previous conditions imposed," he said.
"They need to make an application for a condition they can't meet.
"We have our evidence of how they've not been meeting them, so there's no getting out of it.
"We will endure it, we haven't won yet but we will continue to hold it at bay until it is no longer a threat."
Both New Hope and the Oakey Coal Action Alliance entered the Land Court in October to go over evidence that was previously heard, minus information relating to ground water quality.
New Hope filed for a judicial review of Member Paul Smith's decision to reject the expansion in June 2017.
In May, Supreme Court Justice Helen Bowskill overturned the Land Court's recommendation, sending it back to the same court.