A Queensland court has recommended the state approve Indian giant Adani’s proposed $16.5bn Carmichael coal mine, rejecting claims by environmental groups the mine would be unprofitable and would not find the finance it needs to go ahead.
Land Court president Carmel MacDonald rejected the environmental group Coast and Country’s case against the proposed mega-mine in the Galilee Basin on Tuesday.
MacDonald said the economic benefits of the Adani mine would outweigh the potential environmental damage.
She said strict water and fauna conditions should apply to Adani, but the Carmichael mine should be allowed to go ahead.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the Land Court approval, along with re-approval from the Commonwealth for the mine earlier this year, cleared another obstacle for Adani, which Roche says has been the target of green activist ‘lawfare’ since 2010.
With that in mind, Roche warned the court’s decision still left the door ajar for green groups to come back and cause more trouble for the prospective miner.
“Coast and Country are serial abusers of the Queensland court system and we fear that they will not respect the Land Court’s recommendation as the final word,” Roche said.
“Adani has become the target of green activists’ vexatious litigation, having already faced two federal appeals and a string of cases against the Abbot Point expansion.”
Shortly after the Land Court decision was made, the Environmental Defenders Office – which represented Coast and Country in court – tweeted to its followers to help “supercharge” its Federal Court challenge through donations on its website.
Roche said this was only more evidence of the environmental group’s vexatious tactics.
“The activists’ disrupt and delay tactics are clearly outlined in their anti-coal playbook Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom, and continue to deny Queenslanders thousands of needed jobs and millions of dollars to help pay for state services such as schools, police and hospitals,” Roche said.
“Everyday Queenslanders are increasingly frustrated that a handful of inner-city green activists can continue to deny communities crucial jobs.”