It’s two legal cases down and three to go before Australia’s biggest coal mine, slated for Queensland’s Galilee Basin, can start says the Queensland Resources Council.
A Federal Court has dismissed a challenge by conservationists to stop the project.
The Federal Court threw out an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) case against Adani’s $21 billion Carmichael mine from going ahead on the grounds the approval of the mine was inconsistent with Australia’s obligation to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the emissions of coal.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the judge’s ruling was an “an inevitable result”.
He said the ACF was trying to make Australians responsible for the emissions of coal generated in other countries.
“What the ACF wanted the federal court to agree to was the equivalent to saying Saudi Arabia needs to take responsibility for the emissions of Australian motorists using their oil – that was their case,” Mr Roche told reporters after the decision was handed down.
“We now have two court cases resolved in favour of the Adani Carmichael coal project in recent weeks, but there are three more to go.
“So we have three more cases creating jobs for lawyers, but not creating jobs for regional Queenslanders.”
The ACF said it would not stop fighting to prevent the coal mine from ever operating.
ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said in a statement that Australians would be shocked that the biggest ever coal mine was approved despite the Great Barrier Reef this year suffering the worst coral bleaching on record as “a direct result of global warming”.
“If the Carmichael mine proceeds, its coal will create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine, wiping out Australia’s efforts to reduce pollution and contributing to more frequent and severe bleaching events on the reef,” she said.
“Australia’s environment laws are broken if they cannot account for the impacts of global warming on the reef, one of our country’s most loved national treasures.”
The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s Great Barrier Reef campaign director Imogen Zethoven said the federal government will be to blame if the reef dies.
“Regardless of any legal decision, we have a moral responsibility to do everything possible to protect the reef and the communities who rely on it.”