Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge

ADANI’s federal government approval to develop its $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin is once again being challenged in the courts on the grounds that climate pollution would be inconsistent with Australia's international obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge Adani's Carmichael approval gets another legal challenge

Map showing Adani's proposed Carmichael mine and rail project.

Lou Caruana

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act stated that the Federal Environment Minister must not act inconsistently with Australia's responsibilities under the United National's World Heritage convention.

This follows earlier legal action by the Mackay Conservation Group that challenged the project approval by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt over what he claimed were “technicalities”.

A statement by Adani said the action by the ACF was "the latest in a litany of attempts by politically motivated activists seeking to endlessly delay new job-creating projects in Queensland”

“Adani has consistently said what is required for major job-creating resource projects to proceed in this state, and in Australia more broadly, is regulatory and approvals certainty," the spokesman said.

“It is one thing for a project's approval to be challenged - it is quite another to wait for previous challenges to fail, then launch new ones on different grounds over and over again, seeking endless delay, and endlessly abusing process.

“At this time, it is worth restating that the proposed mine at Carmichael has been approved, and subsequently re-approved, with the strictest conditions ever handed down under the EPBC Act.

“Adani is confident in the soundness of Minister Hunt's approval of the mine under the act.

“Indeed, when Minister Hunt announced that the mine had been re-approved, some activist groups went so far as to indicate they would launch an appeal despite not being sure of the grounds on which to do so.”

Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche the ACF action represents another chapter in the green activists’ campaign to disrupt and delay coal project approvals in the state and federal courts.

“While the court action cites global emissions and the supposed effect on the Great Barrier Reef, if successful this action could cause an increase in global emissions, as Queensland’s lower-emission coal will stay in the ground, therefore coal demand from India will be met from other countries with higher-emission coal, such as Indian or Indonesian coal,” he said.

“The prospects for the ACF challenge to be successful are remote – the argument they are putting has already been rejected by the Queensland Land Court multiple times and most recently by the Queensland Supreme Court. However, the win the ACF is looking for is a further delay in this huge job generating project.

“The premise of their argument, that Australia must take responsibility for the emissions from the use of Australian coal in another country, would be the same as Saudi Arabia having to take responsibility for emissions from the exhaust pipes of Australian cars using Saudi petroleum products.”