Green groups fire up for fresh Acland court fight
legal avenue open to them. It follows the long delays and eventual setting aside of the Adani mine approval.
New Hope’s existing mine runs out of coal in 2017-18 and Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said legal challenges could make it difficult for the expansion to be approved and developed in time, meaning existing jobs were threatened. “The Land Court has been taking about a year to make its decision,’’ Mr Roche said.
“Really, the company needs to know by this time next year that it has an approved project because it runs out of coal in 2017-18 at the existing mine, which means no jobs for those hundreds of workers who are already there.
“If they (activists) are determined to block this they can use the Land Court processes to disrupt and delay and they will probably do that.’’
Paul King, from the Darling Downs Environment Council, said the green groups would take action.
“Yes (we will take action) if there are grounds. That (process) has been provided to us under our legal system,’’ Mr King said.
Leading the challenge will be grazier and head of the Oakey Coal Action Alliance Frank Ashman, whose property, 8km from the existing mine, stands to become worthless if the mine expansion goes ahead.
“We are prepared to move up another (legal) step and, with the assistance of the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), we will be accommodating that challenge,’’ Mr Ashman said.
“It’s not going to come cheap.’’
The EDO also had a role in the Adani challenge when it represented Land Services Coast and Country.
EDO chief executive Jo Bragg said the result of that case showed mining companies did not always get it right.