New Hope has released a report detailing the economic cost if New Acland mine is not expanded.
New Hope has released a report detailing the economic cost if New Acland mine is not expanded.

The billion-dollar impact of New Acland being refused

ABOUT 1000 jobs and a $7billion economic contribution could be lost if the New Acland mine's stage three expansion does not go ahead, an independent report has found.

The Ernst and Young report, released on Wednesday, found if the project was allowed it would inject $8.127billion into the Australian economy - about $7billion more than if the mine was closed when current coal reserves were depleted in 2020.

The report found without expansion jobs would be lost across Southeast Queensland and train freight along the West Moreton rail line could become prohibitively expensive for other mines and agriculture.

It found 535 jobs at Acland, Dalby and Toowoomba would be lost if the mine was not expanded, as well as corporate jobs in Ipswich and Brisbane and jobs at the Brisbane port.

The report predicted 405 construction jobs would be lost, as would about 150 full-time- equivalent contractor roles.

"If the expansion does not proceed, jobs will be lost within the local areas, and will most likely force these employees to move away from the area," the report stated.

"There may be flow-on effects in the local economy as well if families previously supported by income from the mine move away from the local area."

A Supreme Court judicial review into the proposed expansion of Oakey mine is set to occur in March next year after the Land Court recommended the project not go ahead.

New Hope chief financial officer Matthew Busch said the economic impacts of the expansion being refused would be felt across Southeast Queensland.

"This is not just a Darling Downs issue. It is much more widespread than that," he said.

Mr Busch said he hoped the legal issues would be resolved and the Queensland Government be able to approve the mine mid-next year to ensure the mine could operate continuously between stage two finishing and stage three starting operation.

He said the report found suppliers, not just in Toowoomba but across the southeast and as far north as Rockhampton, would lose business if New Acland was forced to close.

Representatives from the Oakey Coal Action Alliance could not be reached for comment. -NewsRegional