Queensland farmers will ask the High Court to stop a coal mine expansion they say threatens their water supply.
Graziers behind the Oakey Coal Action Alliance on Monday sought special leave to appeal to the nation's highest court over the controversial Stage 3 expansion of the New Acland coal mine that threatens their Darling Downs community.
The fate of the mine was referred back to Mines Minister Anthony Lynham after the Brisbane Court of Appeal ruled against the farmers in early November.
The farmers, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, want a fresh hearing in the land court about the impacts of coal mining on their land.
Environmental Defenders Office CEO David Morris said Acland farmers and residents deserved their day in court "untainted by accusations of apprehended bias and unfairness".
Mr Morris said they would argue the Court of Appeal's decision had left a big question mark over Acland Stage 3 because it was not made in accordance with the law.
Darling Downs dairy farmer David Vonhoff said farmers battling severe drought and the threat of searing bushfires could not afford to lose their precious groundwater to mining.
"We're really in a dire situation here with this drought, while farmers just east of here have been battling extreme bushfires the likes of which we've never seen before," he said.
"We just can't afford to lose our groundwater to the Acland Stage 3 coal mine - we need water to produce food and we need water to fight fires. We can't waste it on a coal mine.
"Our agricultural soils are among the top 1.5 per cent in the state and we need to protect them from mining.
"It's been incredibly difficult for us fighting this mine for over a decade, it's a real David and Goliath battle, but our future is at stake."
Australian Associated Press
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