Community gets say on coal mine expansion

The State Government says it is expecting a broad range of views on a proposal to expand the New Acland coal mine, west of Toowoomba on southern Queensland's Darling Downs.

The draft terms of reference for the proposal opened for comment over the weekend.

New Hope Coal says it has listened to community concerns and will reduce the amount of land it will mine, move operations away from Oakey and Acland and abandon plans to divert local creeks.

The revised plan is open to public comment and the Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says local communities have strong views.

"The New Acland Coal Mine has always been controversial," he said.

"It's incredibly important that the community have a chance to have an input in any decision that is made about the mine and the continuation or expansion of mining in that area.

"This is an opportunity for the community to have an input - no doubt there will be a range of opinions expressed." Mr Seeney says locals have nine weeks to consider the plan.

"It is a very, very different proposal to the stage three proposal that the previous Labor government were considering but we also understand the importance of the jobs for the local economy," he said.

"This is about making sure that the mine can continue to operate and continue to provide those jobs.

"The process now is now for the local community to consider this proposal and have their say." The draft terms of reference are available for comment until February.

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