Critical new information may halt Carmichael mine
The Mackay Conservation Group has submitted critical new information in the Federal Court in Sydney amending their challenge to Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael mine in Central Queensland.
The group argues that in approving Carmichael, Minister Hunt failed to consider conservation advices for two vulnerable species likely to be significantly impacted by the project, the ornamental snake and the yakka skink. ing their challenge to Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael mine in Central Queensland.
This is despite Australia’s environment laws requiring the Environment Minister to take into account the advice of his own Department in relation to vulnerable species.
“We have filed an amended application which argues that Minister Hunt is in clear breach of his own rules over the Carmichael approval,” said Ellen Roberts. “This is unacceptable. The processes are in place precisely in order to protect vulnerable species from destructive projects such as this mine.”
Legal precedent for the rejection of a project on almost identical grounds was set in 2013 when the Tarkine National Coalition successfully challenged Environment Minister Tony Burke’s decision to approve a mine in the Tarkine forests in Tasmania. As such, today’s amendments may have serious implications for the proposed coalmine – slated to be the largest in Australia.
In 2013, the court stated former Environment Minister, Tony Burke, made a "fatal" error in ap proving Shree Minerals' mine, when he did not giving enough consideration to official conservation advice on the endangered Tasmanian devil.
“The Carmichael mine has no place in a modern Australia that values its people, the climate, scarce water resources and vulnerable species,” said Roberts. “No government has the right to ride roughshod over the laws that have been put in place to protect us and the world around us.”
Mackay Conservation Group, represented by the environmental legal centre, EDO NSW, initiated a legal challenge to the proposed Carmichael project in January 2015. The case will be heard in the Federal Court in Sydney on 10 and 11 August.
The case also argues that climate change impacts of the burning of coal from Carmichael were not adequately taken into account, and that Minister Hunt failed to consider Adani’s poor environmental record when approving the mine.