Australian Conservation Foundation Inc. v. Minister for the Environment
Side A: Australian Conservation Foundation (Ngo)
Side B: Minister for the Environment (Government)
Challenge to approved coal mining project
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) challenged the Minister's decision to approve the opening of the Carmichael Coal Mine. The project by Adani Mining Pty Ltd involves the construction of a new open-cut and underground coal mine in central Queensland and a rail link and associated infrastructure to transport coal between the mine and coal export terminals. The green group argued that the Minister didn't comply with certain clauses from the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) of 1999. The ACF's main concern was with the dismissal of the impact that greenhouse gas emissions related to the mining operations would have on the Great Barrier Reef. These clauses included ss 82 and 527E, ss 1367(2)(a) and 391 with regard to the precautionary principle, and s137 regarding inconsistency with the World Heritage Convention. The Lower Court initially rejected the ACF's application. The Federal Court then dismissed the appeal on the basis that neither the lower court nor the Minister had fallen into legal error.