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The Coordinator-General, Colin Jensen, has approved the Wetalla water pipeline component of the New Acland Coal Mine: Stage 3 Expansion Project subject to conditions.

The Wetalla water pipeline is a major infrastructure component of the New Acland Coal Mine: Stage 3 Expansion Project proposed by New Acland Coal ( NAC ) Pty Ltd.

“The project comprises the construction and operation of a 45 kilometre underground pipeline to deliver recycled water from Toowoomba Regional Council’s ( TRC ) Wetalla Wastewater Reclamation Factory (WWRF) to the NAC site near Jondaryan,” Mr Jensen said.

“The project also includes construction of a pump station at the WWRF, a new 750 kV transformer, a surge tower and a number of maintenance points and control valves along the pipeline route.

“The recycled water from the WWRF will increase reliability of supply and help drought proof the project.

“Once the pipeline is operational, groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin ( GAB ) will no longer be required as the main supply for the current mine operations.

“Water supply from the GAB is becoming less reliable due to drought and overuse in the Eastern Downs area,” Mr Jensen said.
The $29 million project will take approximately 25 weeks to construct and employ around 18 people during construction.

The proponent has already negotiated an agreement with TRC to take up to 5,500 mega litres per annum (MLpa)  from the WWRF which currently generates 11 000 MLpa.

“This pipeline represents only one component of the larger Stage 3 Expansion Project which proposes to expand coal production at the NAC mine from 4mtpa to 10mpta.

“A separate Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS ) for this part of the project will be released for public comment mid 2009” Mr Jensen said.

In evaluating the environmental effects the Coordinator-General considered the EIS, Supplementary EIS and detailed Environmental Management Plans prepared by the proponent as well as public submissions on the EIS.

“Having considered all of the information, I have decided that the EIS has adequately addressed the environmental and other impacts of the project and meets the requirements of the Queensland Government for impact assessment.”

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