Coal battle: Decision overturned on $900m New Acland plan
THE contentious $900 million New Acland mine expansion proposal has been given a boost.
On Wednesday, Justice Helen Bowskill overturned a Land Court recommendation.
The enormous mine proposal will now go back to the Land Court.
At Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday, Justice Bowskill cited three reasons for overturning Member Paul Smith's decision.
The first related to groundwater, the second to intergenerational equity, and the third to noise.
New Acland Coal had asked the supreme court to review Member Paul Smith's decision to reject the Oakey Stage 3 expansion.
Justice Bowskill's said a member other than Mr Smith would hear the case again.
The expansion proposal already sparked one of the longest landcourt cases of all time.Oakey Coal Action Alliance was opposed to the expansion.
Mr Smith last year found there was a chance groundwater supplies available to surrounding landholders could be affected for generations to come if the expansion was approved.
In March, the company submitted Mr Smith's personal feelings may have "coloured" his objectivity in the lengthy case.
The coal company raised concerns about Mr Smith referring in his judgment to The Castle.
The film reference was made in relation to one of Acland's last residents, Glen Beutel, who refused to sell his properties to NAC.
Mr Beutel was portrayed as an underdog, like character Darryl Kerrigan was in the movie.
Outside court on Wednesday, agricultural chemist Dr John Standley said the new decision was disappointing.
Dr Standley said the land court decision last year was fair and he was "amazed" New Acland thought of challenging the decision.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP welcomed the decision and would respect the process as the plan was reconsidered in the Land Court.
"There are hundreds of jobs and communities depending on the continuation of New Hope's operation," she said.
"The Palaszczuk Government should have respected the current legal process and not refused the application to amend the environmental authority for the New Acland stage 3 project." - NewsRegional