Federal environmental approval a positive step for local

20 January 2017

New Hope Group’s Managing Director, Shane Stephan, has welcomed today’s Federal Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) approval for its New Acland Stage 3 Continuation Project.

Announced by Federal Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, the EPBC approval is the culmination of a period of extensive scrutiny by federal environmental departments, multiple environment ministers and the Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC).

Mr Stephan said this approval, provided after thorough review of potential impacts, including groundwater, demonstrates that the environmental credentials of the project stack up.

"It’s positive news for the local community as it provides optimism for the continuity of operations at New Acland and the increased economic activity associated with the construction of the project.

Key benefits of the Project include the creation of up to 260 construction jobs, ongoing employment for up to 435 people directly and 2300 indirectly and total economic benefit of $12 billion over the life of the project (to 2029).

"This announcement takes the Project’s approvals process one step closer to the end. However, the project still requires State Government approvals including, Mining Lease, Environmental Authority and Associated Water Licence to be granted before the New Hope Board can consider a final investment decision.

This announcement will bring some degree of comfort to the current 300 local employees, 500 local contractors and thousands of others who depend on the current mine for their livelihoods.

"Our 300 direct local employees and 500 contractors have been anxiously awaiting Federal and State approval of this project for many years. Whilst we welcome the Federal EPBC Act approval, timing of State approvals is absolutely critical as the current mining lease is running out of resource and a considerable amount of construction activity is required to enable access to Stage 3 coal.

"Now we have the Federal approval - our people’s futures are squarely in the hands of the Queensland State Government".