Legal challenge lodged against Adani mega mine

The Adani Carmichael Mine is facing a legal battle.
The Adani Carmichael Mine is facing a legal battle. Sam Panthaky

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has launched a legal challenge against Adani's $16 billion Carmichael coal mine on the basis the Federal Government did not properly consider climate pollution from the mine.

The Australian Conservation Foundation and Environmental Defenders Office Queensland lodged legal papers at the Brisbane Federal Court on Monday against Minister Greg Hunt's reapproval for the Galilee Basin mega mine and rail project.

EDO Queensland Principal Solicitor Sean Ryan said the environment minister did not correctly apply the law under the UN World Heritage Convention when considering the impacts the project would have on the Great Barrier Reef.

ACF President Geoff Cousins said it was the first case that had sought to test the obligations as they related to the climate change impacts on the reef caused by pollution from burning the mine's coal.

"ACF believes the Turnbull government's reapproval of a coal mine that would produce more climate pollution than New Zealand does annually is reckless and irresponsible," he said.

"This action is historic.

"If this case is successful it will strengthen climate change considerations and World Heritage protection in Australian law."

Mr Cousins said the group was not attempting to delay the mine, they were determined to stop it going ahead.

And he expects they will be win the case.

It is the seventh legal challenge of this magnitude that ACF has launched in its 50 year history.

Mr Ryan said the case would also consider the mine's impact on the endangered Black-throated Finch.

The Federal Court set aside the mine's approval in August after the Mackay Conservation Group successfully argued the mine had not properly negated its impact on two vulnerable species - the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

In October, Mr Hunt reapproved the mine, which is 160 km north-west of Clermont, with what he described as 36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history.

On Monday, a spokeswoman for Mr Hunt said the project was approved in accordance with national environment law under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act.

She said all matters that could have been considered had been taken into account.

Adani did not comment on its latest legal challenge. 

Environmental groups have lauded ACF's legal challenge.

Mackay Conservation Group has not yet made an announcement whether it will also appeal the reapproval.

ACF will now wait for the court to hold a directions hearing to set a timetable for the appeal.

Depending on the court's availability, EDO expects a hearing up to be set six months after the directions hearing and a decision up to six months after the appeal is heard. 


Topics:  adani australian conservation foundation carmichael mine court editors picks environment galilee basin mining

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