A protest against New Hope Coal expanding the Acland mine in early 2012
A protest against New Hope Coal expanding the Acland mine in early 2012 Tim Braban

Newman faces new battle after minister linked to mine

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman is facing new attacks on his government's integrity, after an LNP minister was linked to a controversial mine expansion near Ipswich.

Science Minister Ian Walker took a donation from a board director of New Hope Coal before his election in 2012, according to revelations published by The Guardian.

Mr Walker oversaw the department that gave the go-ahead for uncovered coal trains to run from the Acland Mine through Brisbane, despite concerns over air pollution.

Mr Walker also acted in place of State Development Minister Jeff Seeney when he called for public comment on New Hope's environmental impact statement.

Records show New Hope director Bill Grant gave a $2000 personal cheque to Mr Walker's campaign fund in late 2011.
Such a donation would not have been made public after the LNP changed the rules, allowing all donations under $12,400 to remain secret.

Previously, only donations under $1000 could be left undeclared.

Sydney shock jock Alan Jones has been attacked the government over Acland's expansion, saying Premier Newman visited his home to assure him personally that this latest expansion would not go ahead.

Mr Walker has declined to discuss his relationship with Mr Grant under questioning from The Guardian, except to say donations were fully disclosed.

 



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