$7 billion hit to economy if New Acland Stage 3 not approved

9 November 2017

The Australian economy stands to benefit from approximately $7 billion in additional economic activity if the New Acland Stage 3 project receives the green light according to a report released today. The vast majority of this economic activity will be generated in Queensland.

Prepared by leading global consulting firm, Ernst and Young (EY), the financial impacts report outlines the more than $8.1 billion in payments that New Acland Coal (NAC) will make to stakeholders over the 12 year life of the expanded mine. This compares to only $1.3 billion in economic activity if the project is not approved and the mine is forced to close in 2020.

New Hope Group Managing Director, Shane Stephan said the figures reflect the fact that the New Acland operation contributes close to $500 million per annum in economic activity.

"We always said the expansion at NAC would bring great benefit to the local and broader community and this independently verified report shows that in stark reality," Mr Stephan said.

"It also shows just how much money will go missing from the economy if the Qld State government rejects stage three.

"But it’s not just about the money. Across our operations we employ a large number of people, at the mine site, at our corporate headquarters in Ipswich and at the Port of Brisbane.

"If the expansion of NAC doesn’t go ahead 535 existing full time jobs will be lost and a further 405 jobs in construction and ongoing operations will not be created. These jobs are critical to the Darling Downs region with many people likely to have to leave the region if they lose their jobs."

"The report show that our suppliers will take the largest financial hit, missing out on more than $2.5 billion in potential revenue over the next decade.

"The overwhelming majority of these suppliers are local South East Queensland businesses who rely on NAC for a large percentage of their income."

"Another area that will take a massive hit is local government with a $112 million reduction in payments to the Toowoomba Regional Council if Stage 3 doesn’t proceed." Mr Stephan said.

If stage three is approved, Mr Stephan said annual payments to stakeholders have been forecast to peak at around $800 million in 2020 as the construction of the Stage 3 infrastructure is completed.

"The mine’s contribution to the local economy will then remain steady at about $575 million per year for the decade to 2031," Mr Stephan said.

"If the state government rejects our application this massive injection into the state’s economy will not be realised.

The financial impacts report also looked at the amount provided directly to local community groups and schools through the Community Investment Fund (CIF), sponsorships and the partnership with LifeFlight.

"Without the expansion, local community groups will miss out on almost $6 million dollars in donations for projects like a new roof for the Goombungee Show Society hall, shade shelters for the Oakey Primary and St Monica’s Schools and new air-conditioning in the Peranga Bowls Club just to mention a few of the more than 40 local groups assisted to date be New Acland," Mr Stephan said.

"This report highlights the massive contribution the New Acland mine makes to its local community and also to the broader Queensland economy.

The report is available on the Stage 3 Project website here.

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