Supreme Court rejects anti-GVK appeal

An environmental appeal against Gina Rinehart’s GVK-Hancock Alpha coal mine has been quashed in the Supreme Court.

The court rejected two appeals, one against the mine’s approval by the Land Court, as well as an appeal of the granting of the Environmental Authority, a move which was in the same vein as those that have stymied the development of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

The miner welcomed the news.

“This judgement combines the second and third court ruling in favour of our comprehensive suite of environmental assessments for the Alpha Coal Project,”  GVK Hancock spokesperson Josh euler said.

“This legal challenge did not involve landholders in the region, it was only brought forward by anti-mining activists,” he added.

This fact has previously been highlighted by the Queensland Resources Council, which stated that groups philosophically opposed to mining have been upping their efforts to derail the industry.

QRC chief Michael Roche stated that "two years after the strategy document Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom was leaked to the media, it is valuable to see how the anti-coal (and coal-seam gas) campaign has unfolded in Queensland".

"For example, the strategy of mounting legal challenges to disrupt or delay new projects is well recorded with appeals in the Queensland Land Court over the Alpha coal mine from a Canberra resident and an interest group with a postal address in Brisbane's West End," he said.

Both the Queensland and Federal governments have been investigating the potential curtailing of the ability of groups against mining projects and developments to oppose their approvals.

Euler described today’s quashing of the two recent appeals as a major win.

“This is a great day for Queensland as we can now get on with taking the next step towards creating thousands of jobs for the region and State,” he said.

The project will now focus on working on its approvals for the granting of a mining lease for Alpha.

“Once approvals are finalised we will execute coal offtake agreements with customers and finalise all financing arrangements in preparation for the commencement of construction,” Euler added.

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