Another legal blow for Adani: Land Court refuses to award costs
23 March 2016
Adani Mining has failed in a bid to shift the company’s legal expenses for last year’s landmark Land Court proceedings to community group Coast and Country, Queensland’s Land Court announced this morning.
“Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, legal representation for Coast and Country, welcomes the decision by the Land Court not to award costs to Adani due to lack of jurisdiction,” Principal Solicitor of EDO Qld Sean Ryan said.
“Community objections to mining are a normal part of the administrative assessment process; important to both the public interest and the protection of the environment,” Mr Ryan said.
“Everybody has a right to protect their family, their home and their environment. We all should be able to exercise this right without the fear of paying for the other side’s legal costs from the big end of town,” he said.
“Community objections lead to changes in conditions to better protect our environment and Coast and Country’s Land Court case is a prime example of the benefits of such objections.”
Mr Ryan said without the Land Court case brought forward by Coast and Country last year, the public would not have known that:
- Adani overstated job benefits of the mine, with net job figures closer to 1400 than the 10,000 the company stated;
- There would be serious damage to the continued survival of the largest remaining colonies of the endangered Black-throated Finch located in the mining lease area; and
- There was a concerning lack of direct investigation into the impacts on the Doongmabulla Springs Complex, which is estimated to be over one million years old and was found to have exceptional ecological significance.
“The Land Court’s decision sends a clear message that well-resourced companies can no longer use threats of costs to intimidate community groups into remaining silent with their objections.”