The Federal Court has rejected the government’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin after a challenge by Mackay Conservation Group.
The move is a victory for a vehement campaign to stop one of the biggest and most dangerous mines on the planet from going ahead, but the mine’s supporters have claimed the rejection of the approval is based on technical error and can be reversed. The error centred on the Environment Minister’s failure to consider departmental advice about two threatened species, reports said.
The Australian Conservation Fund said Environment Minister Greg Hunt now had the “perfect opportunity” to reconsider his decision.
ACF president Geoff Cousins, well known for his campaign against the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania, and a member on the Telstra Board, has been speaking to potential investors in Adani and explaining the environmental impact of the mine, ACF said.
This included the potentially devastating impact on groundwater and the destruction of 10,000 hectares of the habitat for native wildlife, ACF said.
Falling coal prices are also deterring investors.
Media reports said that Queensland’s mining minister Anthony Lynham was “extremely disappointed” today’s decision had happened on the federal government’s watch and vowed to help reverse the decision.
Dr Lynham told Sky News the incident was “a speed bump, rather than a death knell”.
“The state wouldn’t provide funding for the project, but didn’t rule out other incentives,” he said.