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Statement: AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton and CFMEU National President Tony Maher

August 3, 2020

The Australian Workers’ Union and the CFMEU Mining & Energy Division call on the Queensland Government to urgently approve Stage 3 of the New Acland Mine, which will save 150 existing full-time jobs and create an additional 700 positions.

With the economic effects of COVID-19 playing havoc with the state’s economy, and the prospect of more job cuts at New Acland in the near future due to the delay of this project, it is the view of our unions that the Queensland Government can no longer just sit on the sidelines.

The Premier has the power to act today. She should do so. It is unacceptable for the state government to rely on the excuse that the matter is ‘before the courts.’

Over the course of the 13 years since New Hope Corporation first began to seek approval of NAC03 there have been four court hearings. New Hope have won three, and the fourth hearing was found to be infected by the apprehension of bias.

It is possible to bog this project down in endless litigation. That is precisely what opponents of the expansion plan to do.
But the Queensland Government has the power to approve the project and, for the good of the state, it must do so.

Premier Palaszczuk approved the Adani Carmichael Project despite continuing legal action, so too should she approve Stage 3 of the New Acland Mine.

New Acland Coal provides energy certainty to domestic customers that employ more than 14,000 Queenslanders. Expansion is projected to contribute $7 billion to the Queensland economy.

We understand that there are noisy interests who are vehemently opposed to the project going ahead. But their desires should not be prioritised over the livelihoods of blue-collar workers in regional Queensland, the energy security of customers, and the health of the state’s economy –particularly during this time of crisis.

The Queensland Government has noted it is seeking shovel-ready projects to stimulate the economy at this time. There is no project more shovel-ready than Stage 3 of the New Acland Mine.

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