Angry calls for Premier to sack coal mine workers herself
UPDATE: Anger over the passing of new water legislation through Queensland Parliament is swelling, with calls that the Premier visit Oakey and personally sack people employed at the Acland mine.
"It's now apparent that New Hope will more than likely have to start shedding employees in mid-2017 commensurate with the mine plan.
I call on the Premier to come and pick which families won't have one of their parents employed at the mine this time next year. That shouldn't have to be a job for New Hope," Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise executive chairman Shane Charles said this afternoon.
"It's like moving the goalposts after the ball has already been kicked. To do this at the eleventh hour is just unbelievable." Mr Charles' comments come after New Acland Coal Mine's owner New Hope labelled the legislation "reckless".
Group Managing Director Shane Stephan said the new legislation could put more than 300 jobs at risk if the company's bid to expand the mine was further delayed.
"Rather than supporting struggling regional communities, this government is more interested in pandering to the green lobby and vocal minorities in an attempt to shore up electoral support in the metropolitan areas," he said.
"New Hope Group lodged the original application for Stage 3 in 2007 and has been battling green lawfare ever since.
"This is without doubt the most scrutinised mine in Australian history. We have been through the process of public scrutiny at least six times and now we have yet another hurdle thrust in our way."
However, Mr Stephan said New Hope was not opposed to the original bill, but wanted a smoother pathway to allow the expansion to continue.
"The New Hope Group actually supports and complies with the objectives of the legislation," he said.
"All we requested was that the transitional provisions be modified so that projects like New Acland Stage 3 that had already been through detailed underground water impact assessment studies would not have to needlessly repeat the process."
EARLIER: Lobby groups have exploded in anger over the decision to deny the expansion of the New Acland Coal Mine exemption from new state water legislation.
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise's Executive Chairman Shane Charles and Food Leaders Australia CEO Ben Lyons took to Twitter this morning to vent their frustration at the decision, which mine owner New Hope believes will cost 700 jobs.
Mr Charles, who told the Toowoomba Chronicle he felt disillusioned by the political process, wrote on social media to decry the legislation, taking aim at Katter's Australia Party MP Robbie Katter.
"Has the world gone mad @RobKatter3? Since when has doing the right thing at Acland been less important than dodgy deals with greens-led ALP?" he wrote.
Has the world gone mad @RobKatter3 since when has doing the right thing at Acland been less important than dodgy deals with greens led ALP?— Shane Charles (@ShaneCharles72) November 9, 2016
Mr Charles also attacked the Labor Party, tagging Government Minister Dr Anthony Lynham in tweet where he called them "a disgrace".
"Politics led by factions not by good policy. Acland decision by ALP a disgrace #disillusioned @DrAnthonyLynham," he said.
Dr Lyons, who declined to comment to the Chronicle this morning, also blasted Labor on Twitter for their lack of support for the expansion, which The Chronicle had reported earlier could force New Hope to shed jobs if it was delayed any further.
For more updates on the Acland decision, check out our rolling Twitter feed below.
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