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Court rules against Palmer’s Qld coal mine


Clive Palmer’s planned Waratah Coal mine should be refused because of its potential impacts on the environment and contribution to climate change, a Queensland court says.

The Land Court of Queensland on Friday found in favour of the case against the mine’s lease and environmental approval brought by the Environmental Defenders Office on behalf of Youth Verdict and The Bimblebox Alliance.

Clive Palmer.Credit:James Brickwood

Court President Fleur Kingham says the project’s mining lease and environmental authority should be refused by the state government due its potential contribution of burning thermal coal it produces to climate change.

“As a matter of law, I have decided I can take the emissions into principles of ecologically sustainable development for the environmental authority application, and in considering whether the applications are in the public interest on both the mining lease, and the environmental authority applications,” she said on Friday.

“This case is about Queensland coal mined here in Queensland, and exported from Queensland to be burned in power stations to generate electricity.

“Wherever the coal is burned, the emissions will contribute to environmental harm, including in Queensland.”

Kingham said she rejected Waratah’s argument that the coal mined at the project would be higher quality, displacing lower-quality coal projects elsewhere.

She said there was a risk the mine would also not be economically viable throughout projected life.

“In the end, I have decided that the climate scenario consistent with a viable mine risks unacceptable climate change impacts to Queensland people and property, even taking into account the economic and social benefits of the project.”

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