Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio last week sent a letter to the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Resources Scott Stewart calling on the Queensland Government to make a decision on the future of New Hope Group’s New Acland mine, north of Oakey.

Mayor Antonio said Council was watching the ongoing approvals process for a mining lease and associated water licences with great interest.

“While Council has no role in the approval for an expansion of mining at the New Acland site, it is time to end the uncertainty over its future,” Mayor Antonio said.

“The Queensland Government has the authority to declare New Acland Stage 3 a prescribed project in line with all relevant approvals.

“It is Council’s hope that a decision can be announced soon. This will end more than a decade of court battles and delays in approvals that have had a negative effect on the mine’s long-term operations, (with several hundred redundancies at the mine in November 2021), not to mention Oakey township and its surrounding communities.

“If the mine expansion is approved, Council firmly expects that New Hope will quickly revive operations at the site with many more jobs created as a result.

“This will provide a major lift in confidence and business activity in Oakey and the wider community across many supporting industries.

“We know New Hope’s operations will boost our Gross Regional Product and the state’s economic performance.

“New Hope has previously stated they will not use Fly-In, Fly-Out workers, with a preference for workers living in our community, along with a strong commitment to using local suppliers and contractors.

“Council has great faith in the future of Oakey and is confident that any imminent approval of mining operations will underpin an even brighter future for the wider Oakey community.”