Mine expansion plans going ahead at farmer’s expense.

BEAU ROBINSON

Angus Cattle graze on pastoral land at Dilbong, QLD Source: Supplied.

Angus Cattle graze on pastoral land at Dilbong, QLD Source: Supplied.

Farmers on the Darling Downs are outraged with plans for the Acland Coal mine to expand its operation.

The proposed extension will see the mine continue until 2029, taking it’s coal production from 4.8 million to 7.5 million tonnes.

Expansion of the mine will require access of up to 1.170ML of water drawn from regional bores, diverting its use from agricultural land and worrying farmers that they will no longer be able to sustain their operations or livelihoods.

Lachy Cossart a fourth generation farmer from the Darling Downs region said the local farming community is not happy with the proposal.

“I’ve got friends who are worried,” he said.

“We lose our water supply, we lose our livelihood, we need that water.”

Cossart’s family rely on bore water to ensure that their enterprise is viable, especially through times of drought.

“Once the mine closes up and the jobs dry up the land is stuffed,” Mr Coassart said.

“This is prime agricultural land we are talking about, It’s short sighted.”

These views are shared by many farmers on the Darling Downs, who argue that the region is renowned for having some of the best agricultural land available in Australia.

Stakeholders in the region are considering taking legal action through Queensland’s Land Court to stop the proposed expansion.

There are fears that up to 150 people could lose access to their bore water.

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