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Coal mining company New Hope Group says it’s ready for controversial mine expansion, opponents say obstacles remain

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Following the release of a report by the Coordinator General, mining company New Hope Group says it is one step closer to getting approval for its controversial Stage 3 coal mine expansion in Queensland’s Darling Downs.

However, a group of landowners opposed to the project claims that there are still obstacles in the way of the expansion, and that the recent federal election result “showed Queenslanders do not want more coal mines.”

The expansion of the New Acland coal mine on the Darling Downs was conditionally approved by the Queensland Land Court late last year.

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The Coordinator General was then to prepare a report, which was handed down late last week.

Conditions to be included in the New Acland Stage 3 Environmental Authority were outlined in the report.

The Queensland government is now debating whether or not to approve the lease, according to New Hope Group CEO Rob Bishop.

Mr Bishop stated, “New Acland Stage 3 has been thoroughly reviewed, assessed, and scrutinised.”

“Both the Land Court and the Coordinator General’s consultation processes have allowed everyone to have a say in the project.”

“This historic development clears the way for the approvals process to be completed, allowing us to focus more on our plans to reopen the mine and re-hire our workforce.”

Mine manager Dave O’Dwyer expressed his confidence in the project’s progress after reading the report.

“The Coordinator General has taken all of the things that were discussed in the Land Court and put them together,” he said, “so it really develops a framework for the EA [environmental assessment].”

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