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Feb 14, 2016 9:31 AM ET

Archived: ACLAND – A COMMUNITY’S BATTLE: Already struggling with the drought, a proposed Stage 3 expansion of the New Acland coal mine project threatens the main source of groundwater to our farms

iCrowdNewswire - Feb 14, 2016


G’day, My name is Frank Ashman. My wife Lynn and I operate a beef cattle stud farm on the rich deep dark soil of the Darling Downs.

Together our community has brought quality produce like grains, beef, and dairy to your table for generations. The Darling Downs region accounts for one quarter of the agricultural production of Queensland.

I don’t like to ask for help. But we have been struggling with the drought, and now the proposed Stage 3 expansion of the New Acland coal mine project threatens the main source of groundwater to our farms – farms that are part of the Darling Downs – farms that feed you.

The Acland mine has already created uncertainty in families about their future on the land. Some are concerned the noise, stress and coal dust of the existing mine is already affecting the health of their families. We can’t let Stage 3 happen.

We’ve formed community group Oakey Coal Action Alliance (OCAA) – representing nearly one hundred farmers, business owners, defence personnel, nurses, council workers, doctors, veterinarians, teachers and retirees – to stop the Stage 3 expansion.

We are working tirelessly day after day on this case. Many of us are exhausted from fighting the impacts of the existing mine and the endless revisions of the proposed extension. But we won’t give up! The problem is, we can’t do it alone.

Represented by experienced non-profit lawyers at EDO Qld, we’re one of 35 objectors taking mining company New Acland Coal (owned by New Hope, and ultimately Washington H. Soul Pattinson) to Queensland’s Land Court.

Will you stand up for the farmers that put food on your table by making a donation to the case? We urgently need to raise an extra $95,000.

In the lead-up to the case, we’ll be sharing stories from my neighbours as to why Stage 3 should not go ahead. You can read about why award winning dairy farmer Noel Weick, whose family has been farming in the region for nearly a century, is battling the mine expansion here.

With your support we can effectively say no to this 12-year project extension of an unsustainable industry and yes to feeding future generations of Australians.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Ashman, local farmer and president of OCAA.

Jo Bragg CEO of EDO Qld says, “We are proud to legally represent this hardworking rural community group. And it is imperative to present a great legal case to get a recommendation to State government that Stage 3 expansion should not go ahead. The case is underway with a 10 week hearing on 7 March. The pressure is on to raise funds now.”

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