Frequently Asked Questions

New Acland Coal Mine continuation plans

Is the originally proposed New Acland Stage 3 Expansion Plan still going ahead?

In March 2012, the incoming State LNP Government announced that the proposed New Acland Stage 3 Expansion Project, first proposed in 2007, would not proceed in its then current form.  New Hope has since been in discussions with the Government about developing a new compromise version of this plan to ensure current jobs and economic benefits related to the New Acland operation can be continued beyond 2017, while also addressing community concerns.

What do the continuation plans involve?

New Hope has listened to community and government concerns relating to the previous mine expansion proposal and has developed a new compromise version of the plan, the revised New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project (the revised Project), that addresses these issues.

When will the current operations close if the revised Project does not proceed?

Coal reserves at the current New Acland operation are expected to be depleted by 2017. If the operations do not continue redundancies could start as early as 2015 and the mine will be closed in 2017.

How close will the proposed operations be located to Oakey?

Under the revised Project the closest point of potential mining operations will be located at least 10 km away from the town of Oakey, compared to 7km as previously proposed.

Will the revised Project increase the size of current operations as much as the previously proposed expansion?

From the original Stage 3 proposal, there will be an overall reduction in the total amount of land used for mining activities by more than half.

How will the revised Project affect the lifespan of the New Acland operation?

The revised Project will extend New Acland operations by 12 years until approximately 2029.

Employment and economic benefits

What benefits will the revised Project offer the local region?

Current operations provide a $300 million injection annually into south-east Queensland’s economy, including $110 million directly to the Darling Downs region each year. The revised Project will also provide a boost of $18.7 billion to the local, state and national economies over the life of the mine. 

How many people will be employed as part of the revised Project?

The plan will extend the life of the current operation to about 2029, boosting current employment from 300 local jobs to about 435, increasing 160 full time contractors to 170 positions and growing indirect jobs from about 2,300 to about 3,000. The revised Project will directly employ up to 260 people during the peak construction phase. New Hope intends to source new employees, where possible, from the local region. The continuation plans will also boost economic activity in the area through direct and indirect employment, investment and business opportunities - acting as a spur to the Darling Downs economy. 

Will there be fly in/fly out workers as part of future operations?

No, New Hope will employ local workers where possible. Current operations do not include fly in/fly out workers, with employees based locally in Toowoomba (45%), Oakey (35%) and Warwick / Goondiwindi / Kingaroy (20%).

How can I apply for a job as part of the revised Project?

If the revised Project is approved, New Hope will consider experience and skills as well as local availability as part of the employment selection process. Information on New Hope's recruitment processed can be found on our website: www.newhopegroup.com.au

What will happen to current jobs if the revised Project does not proceed?

Coal reserves at the current New Acland operation are expected to be depleted by 2017. If the operations do not continue redundancies could start as early as 2015 and the mine will be closed in 2017.

Acland Township and historical items

Will the Acland Township be affected by the revised Project?

As part of the revised Project, the Acland town area, including the Tom Doherty Park, War Memorial and Acland No 2 Colliery, will be left in place. New Hope has developed the Acland Colliery Conservation Management Plan for the Acland No 2 Colliery .  

Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility (JRLF)

Will the JRLF be relocated as part of the revised Project?

Yes. Although testing has shown coal dust levels in Jondaryan are well below strict environmental criteria, as part of the revised Project, the Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility will be relocated away from the township, with a new train loading facility built at a remote site on the mining lease area.

Where will the new proposed rail loading facility be relocated to?

As part of the proposed future operations the Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility will be relocated about 8km away from the township. A new train loading facility will be built at a remote site closer to the mine.

When will the JRLF be relocated?

The relocation of the JRLF will occur during the construction phase of the Project. The construction phase of the Project, if approved, would commence around late 2015.  

Will the JRLF be relocated if the revised Project does not go ahead?

The relocation of the JRLF is part of future operations for the mine. If the continuation plan does not go ahead it will not be economically viable to move the facility as the mine will close in 2017.

What about concerns about coal dust in the meantime?

New Hope will continue to monitor and control coal dust around its operations where it is required to and consistently meets strict government environmental conditions. It has also introduced veneering to coat all transported coal - removing any suggestion that coal dust comes from trains.

Lagoon Creek and water supply

Will Lagoon Creek be diverted as part of the revised Project?

Lagoon Creek will not be diverted.

Where will future water supplies come from?

The operation will continue to be self-sufficient for water, with water continuing to be purchased from Toowoomba’s Wetalla Wastewater Reclamation Facility (WWRF). Only around 20% of the Wetalla water is purchased by New Hope currently.

Land resources

How will the Project impact existing land resources?

From the original Stage 3 proposal, there will be an overall reduction in the amount of land used for mining activities by more than half.

Environment

Will there be opportunities for environmental enhancement?

Wherever possible, New Hope will seek to deliver beneficial environmental outcomes for the area. Rehabilitation of disturbed land is progressive and scientific cattle grazing trials show success in returning the land to its historical use as grazing country. New Hope is working with Greening Australia to replenish the land and riparian zones with native vegetation.

What mitigation measures will be in place to minimise the potential exposure to contaminated soil or dust?

New Acland Coal employs an extensive environmental monitoring regime to assess the potential impacts of mining operations in relation to air quality, noise and vibration, water management (surface water and groundwater) and land management. Our environmental monitoring regime is specified in an active management plan, and is conducted in compliance with regulatory guidelines, Australian Standards. New Acland Coal's environmental monitoring data is always available for audit purposes by Government regulators. In addition to regular surveys, some of our monitoring of dust and noise takes place 24 hours a day seven days per week near the mine and at Jondaryan near the rail loading facility.

The Mine's environmental management is facilitated by two on-site environmental officers at Acland and is also further supported by senior environmental staff based at New Hope's Head Office at Brookwater, Queensland.

Will the revised Project result in an increased vegetation clearing rate or any changes to the rehabilitation strategy?

New Hope established the Acland Pastoral Company (APC) in 2006 to provide sustainable agricultural practices within its operations. APC contributes to progressive rehabilitation activities of current and future operations, with 307 ha rehabilitated to date.

Further information

How can I find out further information about the Project?

To find out more about the project please contact the Community team:
 

Visit: New Hope Community Information Centre at Shop 90, 88 Campbell Street, Oakey, Queensland
Phone: (07) 4691 3445 or Freecall 1800 882 142
Email: community@newhopegroup.com.au

EIS

How can I view the EIS?

You can read and download the EIS electronically at any time from www.aclandproject.com.au or www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/newacland for further information how to make a submission.

You may also view the EIS in hard copy at the following locations:

New Hope Community Information Centre – Shop 90, 88 Campbell Street, Oakey

Toowoomba Regional Council service centres at:

64 Campbell Street, Oakey

89 Mocatta Street, Goombungee

4 Little Street, Toowoomba

National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Canberra

State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane.

Can I provide feedback on the EIS?

The EIS was on public notification from 20 January 2014 until 3 March 2014.

How do I make a formal submission on the EIS?

All formal submissions had to be submitted directly to the Coordinator-General by 3 March 2014. Submissions must be signed by each person who makes the submission; state the name and address of each person who makes the submission and state the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on. A fact sheet and submission form will be published on the Coordinator-General’s website.

All submissions, regarding this EIS should be addressed to:

 Email:   newaclandproject@coordinatorgeneral.qld.gov.au

Post:    The Coordinator-General

c/- EIS project manager—New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 project

Coordinated Project Delivery

Office of the Coordinator-General

PO Box 15517

City East Qld 4002 Australia

 Fax:      +61 7 3452 7486

 

Any further enquiries can be made to:

Project Manager – New Acland Project

New Acland Coal Pty Ltd, PO Box 47,

Ipswich, Qld 4305

Tel +61 7 3418 0500

Fax +61 7 3418 0355

Email aclandinfo@newhopecoal.com.au

Further information about the revised Project can be obtained from: www.aclandproject.com.au

When will a decision be made on the EIS?

It is expected that the Coordinator-General’s Assessment Report and Commonwealth Minister’s decision on the EIS will be determined later this year (2014).

If approved it is expected the future operations would be up and running before coal reserves at the New Acland Mine are depleted in 2017. This would allow current jobs and economic benefits to be maintained.

What happens now that the EIS has been submitted?

The EIS was on public notification until 3 March 2014.

If required, a Supplementary Report addressing issues raised on the EIS will be prepared by NHG and provided to the Coordinator-General for further assessment. The Coordinator-General will then prepare an Assessment Report for the revised Project.

What if I have any questions about the EIS?

You can visit the New Hope Community Information Centre, Shop 90/88 Campbell Street, Oakey; phone 4691 3445 or free call 1800 882 142. You can also find more information on this website or the Coordinator-General’s website at http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/new-acland-coal-mine-stage-3-expansion.html