[Australia] Conservation group challenges approval of Carmichael coalmine as ‘illegal’ – by Joshua Robertson (The Guardian – November 9, 2015)


Australian Conservation Foundation takes battle against Queensland mine to federal court, arguing Greg Hunt failed to consider the impact of climate pollution on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched what it described as a historic bid to have the federal government’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael coalmine declared illegal – but the action has prompted one Coalition senator to renew calls for a crackdown on so-called “green lawfare”.

The ACF on Monday lodged the challenge in the federal court in Brisbane, arguing the environment minister, Greg Hunt, failed to consider the impact of climate pollution from Australia’s largest proposed mine on the Great Barrier Reef.

ACF president Geoff Cousins compared the battle to stop the Carmichael mine to that surrounding the proposed Franklin Dam in Tasmania – the last time the ACF brought such a legal challenge.

A string of legal challenges against Adani’s mine had previously prompted the government then led by Tony Abbott to consider restricting legal objection rights against mines.

This included the Mackay Conservation Group’s successful challenge to Hunt’s original approval of the mine, which was overturned because it did not properly consider impacts on snake and skink species.

The ACF legal appeal has led to Queensland Liberal National party senator Matt Canavan again calling for the government to crack down on “green activism”.

Canavan said Queensland families were being “held to ransom” by the ACF, which he accused of blocking growth and thousands of jobs in the state’s regional economy.

He said he supported legislative changes to reduce the ability of environmental groups “to employ ‘guerrilla lawfare’ tactics to derail vital job creation projects”.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/09/conservation-group-challenges-approval-of-carmichael-coalmine-as-illegal

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