‘What do we do now?’: Mine clo­sure hits

The Western Star - - Best Of The West -

IN SIN­GLE file, Tommy Law and 18 of his crew mem­bers walked into the of­fice at the New Acland Mine last week and were given the news they were be­ing made re­dun­dant, 98 days be­fore Christ­mas.

“Ev­ery­one’s heart sort of dropped,” Mr Law told the Dalby Herald of his fi­nal mo­ments at the mine.

The State Govern­ment was given un­til Septem­ber 1 to ap­prove Stage 3 of the New Acland Coal Mine pro­duc­tion but New Hope was greeted with si­lence when the dead­line hit. Re­dun­dan­cies be­gan rolling out the fol­low­ing week.

New Hope Group has been wait­ing for a min­ing li­cence, re­newed wa­ter li­cence and ap­proval for the use of the Jondaryan rail line for more than a decade, among le­gal bat­tles with the Oakey Ac­tion Coal Al­liance in the Land Court.

Mr Law spent eight years work­ing at the New Acland Coal Mine as an op­er­a­tor and be­fore that held a po­si­tion at the Wilkie Creek Coal Mine.

Mr Law said to have lost a po­si­tion he be­lieved to be se­cure was dev­as­tat­ing.

“We were all wait­ing be­side the phone and we’d get mes­sages from friends up­dat­ing us on who’s gone,” he said.

“Ev­ery day you just see the list of names of your mates who are gone.”

New Hope pro­vided psy­chol­o­gists and life coaches for the work­ers forced to go home and break the news to their fam­i­lies.

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