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News & Blog Posts · Energy & Climate

Farmers refute claims Alpha challenge does not involve landholders

22 April, 2015

GVK Hancock released a statement saying Coast and Country's court challenge of the Alpha coal project did not involve landholders. But Central Queensland graziers have expressed their wholehearted support for the legal battle.

Queensland graziers, whose groundwater risks being impacted by GVK Hancock’s Alpha coal mine, have hit back at suggestions by the company that they do not support today’s court action in the Supreme Court of Queensland and that ‘make good’ agreements to secure water supply have been finalised.

Central Queensland grazier Bruce Currie, who was one of three farmers who took action in the original Land Court case said: “My wife Annette and I fully support the court action. We tabled documents in the court that say we back the case and it is only the cost and time away from our cattle station business that prevents us being in court today.

“GVK Hancock have not finalised make good agreements with us, or the other graziers who took part in the original Land Court case. We’ve presented one to them but they have declined to sign it.

“This legal challenge is vitally important to make sure there is proper scrutiny of the Alpha coal mine, and that the Land Court's decision that the current mine proposal should be rejected on water grounds is upheld.

“We need to ensure there is no damage to groundwater supplies and the Great Artesian Basin on which so many families and businesses rely,” Mr Currie said.

Grazier Paola Cassoni, whose groundwater on Bimblebox Nature Refuge would also be impacted by the Alpha mine, said: “I am grateful that the legal system, and Coast and Country, are still there as a stop to the Queensland government and big miners like GVK Hancock pushing ahead with projects that will severely compromise groundwater that is the lifeblood of farming into the future.

“I am hopeful this case in the Supreme Court will further expose the significant problems with this project which, if approved in its current form, risks destroying the water that our businesses depend on.

“Regardless of what GVK Hancock says it has done to protect groundwater, the Land Court was clearly not satisfied with the mine proposal as it now stands. We invite them to come back with better modelling and more realistic predictions about the impacts on our groundwater.

“Like many in the community, landholders have had a gutful of governments fast-tracking these massive mines without proper process, and mining companies like GVK Hancock running roughshod over us,” Ms Cassoni said.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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