Powell questions Government’s motives

26 June 2020

Shadow Minister for State Development, Andrew Powell has questioned the Queensland State Government’s motives for stalling approvals for the New Acland Stage 3 project.

Mr Powell visited the New Acland site today and was impressed by the operation, particularly the rehabilitation work being done.

“The rehabilitation is outstanding,” Mr Powell said. “It’s hard to believe there was once a mine under all that grass.

“But what I really can’t get over is the fact the state government is sitting on the vital approvals this mine needs to keep employing regional Queenslanders.

“The workers I spoke to are truly fearful they will be out of work within the next six months if something doesn’t change.”

Mr Powell said, in the current climate, the Government should be looking at every opportunity to create jobs, not destroy them.

“We all know the dire state of the Queensland economy. Yet here we have the Palaszczuk Labor Government, who say they are all for jobs in regional Queensland, sitting on their hands rather than approve a project that will create hundreds of jobs for local workers.

“The Minister and Premier really need to come out here and front up to these workers and the community and explain the real reason why they won’t give the approvals.”

Acland Mine General Manager, Dave O’Dwyer said it was great to have the Shadow Minister visit the site and speak with the workers.

“We have always had great support from the local member Pat Weir and to have Andrew out here today gave the workforce some encouragement that there is support for the project,” Mr O’Dwyer said.

“Our crews have been sensational throughout this process but it has been tough on them and their families.

“All we are asking from the government is some certainty for the future.”

If approved the New Acland Stage 3 project will create 187 new jobs within the first six months, 487 jobs within 18 months and inject $7 billion into the Queensland economy.

Shadow Minister for State Development, Andrew Powell MP (centre) with Acland Mine Manager Simon Ponder (left) and Condamine MP Pat Weir, pictured in front of trucks that have been parked up following the redundancies of 150 workers at New Acland last October.