Last Updated: August 15, 2017

.Case summary: Adani Carmichael Federal Court challenge

19 September 2016

EDO Qld, on behalf of our client Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), lodged an appeal today against the federal court ruling that endorsed the commonwealth approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine (see background below). This appeal challenges the lawfulness of the Minister’s finding that the burning of coal from the Carmichael mine will not have an impact on global warming and the Great Barrier Reef. The appeal date has been set for 3 March 2017.


29 August 2016

EDO Qld was the legal representation for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) in the Federal Court in their objection to the federal re-approval of the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

On behalf of ACF, EDO Qld sought an independent judicial review by the Federal Court of the legality of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s re-approval of the project. The hearing took place on the 3rd and 4th of May 2016 in the Federal Court in Brisbane.

This case is about whether the Minister correctly applied the law when considering the impacts of the project on climate change and our Great Barrier Reef. Australia has an international legal obligation to do all it can to protect our the Reef for future generations. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) states the Minister must not act inconsistently with Australia’s responsibilities under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention).

On Monday 29th August 2016, the Federal Court dismissed the legal challenge by ACF. The Court accepted that the Minister concluded that the combustion emissions from the proposed mine would have no relevant impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

Read the full judgment here.


A detailed explanation of the case including key court documents is available here



ACF first sought the independent judicial review in the Federal Court on 9 November 2015 after the Federal Environment Minister re-approved the environmental authority for Adani’s Carmichael project on 14 October 2015. This followed a Federal Court decision on 6 August 2015 to set aside the Minister’s first approval of the project (granted on 28 July 2014) after he failed to consider conservation advice on vulnerable species.



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