On Tuesday 9th August a group of people will be packing their swag, a meal to share and heading of to Acland, a beautiful town between Oakey and Jondaryan.
Up to 400 people who lived in the town before it became an open cut coal mine was developed. New Hope Coal claimed that the mine would make the town grow, however what was said and what was the reality are two different stories. New Hope Coal purchased many of the properties in preparation for Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3. The only properties in the township they were unsuccessful in purchasing were the ones owned by Glenn Beutel. Many people who lived near to the mine footprint simply walked away from their properties, unable to cope with the noise, the lights and the air pollution from blasting or the coal dust.
The town is nearly a ghost town, the streets are empty other than the coal mine vehicles passing by, nearly all the houses, shops and churches have been removed.
In the park you will usually find Glenn busy attending to the plants or taking photos of wildlife. “ Many of these trees were planted by my mother, she wanted me to care for them”, said Mr Beutel.
Last Census, 50 people who were concerned about the Stage 3 of Acland mine came together to Repopulate Acland. There was a communal meal, a wood fired BBQ and swags, tents, campervans and mobile homes scattered around the park. There was a strong sense of community. Some of the residents who live nearby came and joined the communal meal whilst other previous residents stayed the night sharing memories of growing up in Acland.
The Census collector was surprised to see so many people and had to return to Oakey to bring back more forms.
This year people will be returning to Acland for Census night and event organiser Cassie McMahon said “the more the merrier.” The event is to build community, to ensure that the Acland spirit stays alive and to provide support to those who have done everything in their power to protect this town from becoming a black hole.
This event has been organised by Friends of the Earth. If you would like to attend, please bring a plate of food to share and camping gear.
Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/1573165939646995/
For further information please contact:
Cassie McMahon firstname.lastname@example.org or 0427 166 166