News & Blog Posts · Nature & the Reef

Minister has international legal obligation to protect Reef

09 November, 2015

“Applying the law to protect the environment in the public interest is vital to keeping government and projects to account.

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Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, on behalf of client The Australian Conservation Foundation, launched a case challenging the federal re-approval of the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin on Monday.

On behalf of ACF, EDO Qld is seeking an independent judicial review by the Federal Court of the legality of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s re-approval of the project, EDO Qld Principal Solicitor Sean Ryan said.

“This case is about whether the minister correctly applied the law when considering the impacts of the project on the Great Barrier Reef and endangered Black-throated Finch,” Mr Ryan said.

“The grounds for review include one in relation to the threatened Black-throated Finch and three in relation to climate change and the Reef.

“Australia has an international legal obligation to do all it can to protect our Great Barrier Reef for future generations.

“Our question is, has the Environment Minister properly applied this legal obligation when considering the impacts of the burning of coal from this mine on the Great Barrier Reef?

“This is a matter of law. It is not trivial and it is important the Federal Minister gets it right.

“As a legal practice at the forefront of environmental law in Australia, it is EDO Qld’s responsibility to assist ACF apply the law to protect our climate, Reef and vulnerable species.

“Applying the law to protect the environment in the public interest is vital to keeping government and projects to account.

“We expect the Court to set a date for the judicial review at a directions hearing in the next month or so and the review itself to take place in early 2016.”