Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Queensland Senator Murray Watt.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Queensland Senator Murray Watt.

Landry, Watt trade blows on south-east mine project

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has called on Queensland Senator Murray Watt to advocate the expansion of the New Acland mine, 180km west of Brisbane, to the State Government.

The High Court of Australia last Wednesday ordered new hearings into the planned expansion of New Acland, after spending four months considering an appeal from Oakey Coal Action Alliance against the expansion of the coal mine.

”Now is the time for Senator Watt to stop talking and to start doing something,” Ms Landry said.

“Don’t leave it until the weekend, don’t leave it until next week – do it right now.”

“What is the point of Labor appointing a Shadow Minister for Queensland Resources when he won’t advocate for Queensland resources projects?”

Ms Landry said there was a precedent for the Queensland Government intervening in the approval of coal projects.

“The Queensland Government can create new laws to protect and push forward with mines’ expansion,” she said.

“Anna Bligh did it back 2007 with Xstrata’s Wollombi mine, securing 190 jobs.

“The Labor Party say one thing but do another thing when it comes to coal and indeed, everything else.”

But Mr Watt denied that he was holding things up and reiterated his support for the project.

“As I’ve previously said, it’s important that this case is resolved as quickly as possible,” he said.

“The local community, particularly local farmers and mine workers, need certainty for the future.

“The Palaszczuk Government has approved 32 coal mines since they were elected. I have full confidence in them to work through the next steps with New Acland.”