QRC says ‘activist litigation’ could cost Queensland coal jobs

The Queensland Resources Council says activist litigation is hindering the creation of new mining jobs.

The comments come after the Coast and Country Association of Queensland, represented by EDO Qld, had its case against Adani’s Carmichael mine heard in the Queensland Land Court last week.

The group said its primary concerns will focus on impacts to endangered species, water systems, economic grounds and the mine’s impact to climate change.

Coast and Country have launched similar judicial hearings against other proposed mines in the Galilee including GV Hancock’s proposed Alpha and Kevin’s Corner mines.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the court action was in line with anti-coal activists’ strategy.

“Along with many other tactics to shut down our industry, it also sets aside $1.35 million for litigation, with the majority allocated to the Queensland Environmental Defenders’ Office (EDO)who were representing Coast and Country in the Land Court,” Roche said.

“This vexatious litigation is an abuse of Queensland’s objection process, which was intended to allow genuine landholder concerns to be raised and addressed.”

Roche said QRC supports the rights of landholders directly affected by mining projects to lodge objections, but says the Adani case is proof of the need to change the way in which complaints are dealt with.

“Here we have an activist group based in West End in inner Brisbane, together with an Indian-based activist group, abusing Queensland court processes,” he said.

Last month the Queensland government passed its new controversial Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill.

The new legislation will restrict who could oppose mining applications on what was termed ‘philosophical’ grounds.

Previously any person or group could object to applications, whether they were directly affected by the operation or not, forcing the matter into the Land Court.

Roche said people in Queensland would benefit from the mine’s development and were keen to see construction get under way.

“Every day that projects like these are delayed is another day project benefits are denied to local communities and Queenslanders.”

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