NuCoal takes on ICAC in court

NUCOAL Resources on Friday lodged judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court challenging the process ofthe dependent Commission Against Corruption that saw it stripped of its Doyles Creek licence in the Hunter Valley.

Lou Caruana

On January 31, the NSW government passed special legislation, cancelling exploration licence 7270 [Doyles Creek] with no compensation payable to NuCoal.

The legislation was passed after investigations and recommendations by ICAC. NuCoal said it cooperated with ICAC's investigation and hearings.

“NuCoal made oral and written submissions to ICAC on behalf of the company and its loyal shareholders,” it said.

“NuCoal had no knowledge of any corrupt conduct; NuCoal had performed due diligence in respect of EL 7270; and there were sovereign risk implications associated with the compulsory expropriation of shareholder property without fair compensation.”

ICAC made no findings of corruption or misconduct by NuCoal or its current directors butit recommended that EL 7270 be expunged. This was then done without any compensation.

The proceedings in the Supreme Court outline NuCoal’s position that ICAC, in making its findings and recommendations, failed to adequately consider, address or reference NuCoal's submissions to it.

Accordingly, NuCoal believes ICAC failed to perform its statutory duty, did not act in accordance with law and committed jurisdictional error.

NuCoal is also obtaining advice on other possible remedies, including a constitutional challenge to the legislation and international action under the US-Australian Free Trade Agreement.