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News & Blog Posts · Energy & Climate

Mega project's groundwater impacts to be scrutinised

15 October, 2015

Six objectors, including affected landholders and concerned conservation groups, had their objections referred to the Land Court of Queensland on 9 December 2013.

EDO Qld is representing community group Coast and Country Association of Queensland Inc (CCAQ) in an objection to the mining lease (ML) and environmental authority (EA) for Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd’s Kevin’s Corner coal mine project.

EDO Qld acting Principal Solicitor Andrew Kwan said there were a number of other objectors who were participating in the Land Court process, including landholder grazier Bruce Currie and his family whose farm and livelihood is threatened by the project.

“The objection against the project’s ML and EA, which at a state level are the minimum requirements to commence operations, relates to groundwater impacts, economics and the public interest,” Mr Kwan said.

“Our client’s case is that the project’s application for these licences is not supported by sufficient, adequate or accurate information to conclude the project will not have an unacceptable adverse environmental impact on groundwater, just like we proved with the nearby Alpha project.

“Evidence will also be brought that the economic impacts of the mining project have not been adequately assessed given that the economic modelling used in the assessment overestimates the project and doesn’t weigh the costs and benefits of the project.

“Overall, our client will be arguing that the impacts to groundwater and economics collectively outweigh the purported benefits of the mining project and justify refusal on the basis that it would prejudice the public right and interest.

“While the public can make submissions during the application stages of these proposals, that process cannot replace the appropriate testing of expert evidence in the Land Court.”

In total six objectors, comprising both affected landholders and concerned conservation groups, had their objections referred to the Land Court of Queensland on 9 December 2013.

Since the first directions hearing was held on 20 December 2013, a number of further directions hearings have been held and various orders made by the Court.

This included consent orders made at the request of Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd in November 2014 to push back the court timetable.

The hearing begins 19 October and is expected to last for two weeks.

About the proposed Kevin’s Corner project

  • The proposed Kevin’s Corner project site is located adjacent to Hancock Coal Pty Ltd’s proposed Alpha coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin and within the Burdekin River catchment, which flows into wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • It is estimated the project will produce thermal coal resources of 4.269 billion tonnes and affect 37,380 hectares of land, of which 632 hectares is high ecological value habitat, which may be impacted by subsidence.
  • The mine would run for 40 years with an annual extraction rate of approximately 45 million tonnes of run-of-mine coal – yet another mega mine proposal that would be one of the largest coal mining projects in Australia.
  • The Queensland Coordinator General issued an evaluation report under the State Development Public Works Organisation Act 1971 on 30 May 2012, recommending the project be approved with conditions. However, the mine still needs a Mining Lease (ML) and Environmental Authority (EA) to commence operations, which are the subject of the Land Court process.

Read more ...

Case update: Kevin’s Corner coal mine objection

A decade of work in climate change litigation

Help us restore objection rights for people like Bruce and Annette

Farmers refute GVK Hancock claims about today’s Alpha court case

Land Court delivers Alpha coal judgment


Media contact – Jolee Wakefield, 0415 833 948 or media@edoqld.org.au

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

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