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