We need to talk about groundwater: New Acland expansion rejected by Land Court

Authors: Bronwyn Clarkson & Kelly Pain

After a 10 year application process and the longest case in Land Court history, the court this week recommended that the applications for permits associated with the $900 million New Acland Stage 3 expansion be refused.

The decision turned primarily on the potential impacts of the project on groundwater resources, with Member Smith stating clearly:

'Groundwater considerations are such that the revised Stage 3 project should not proceed given the risks to the surrounding landholders and the poor state of the current model.'

Groundwater considerations have certainly been front of mind for proponents, given the recent legislative changes in this space (for further detail, please see previous Carter Newell Energy & Resources newsletters, including ‘Water reforms now in full swing – are you compliant?’). This decision draws these issues into clearer focus for those directly affected and particularly those facing impending approval processes where groundwater impacts are to be addressed.

Read more here.