Land Court Hands Down Judgement on Alpha Coal Mine

alpha judgementAfter a rather tense court battle the Land Court handed down its decision today in regards to Alpha Coal and its proposed new mining venture. It has urged the Queensland government in the strongest manner to block approval to this venture unless some new and very important conditions be placed upon the developers.  These conditions are to do with the environmental impact on the surrounding properties and the groundwater, which were the reasons the Farmers and Community groups took this action to court.

The mine, if allowed to go ahead without conditions, would have serious impacts on groundwater – not to mention the risks of exporting the coal through ports that neighbour the Great Barrier Reef. While there’s still a chance that Hancock Coal could still get approval subject to more conditions, the court’s ruling is clear: either this mine cleans up its act, or it doesn’t go ahead.


Spokesman for environmental lobby group Coast and Country, Derec Davies, said the decision is a major win for the environment, and for the pastoralists affected by the project, he also went on to say that:

The judge has clearly stated that the evidence provided to the court in relation to water is unsatisfactory and not in the public interest for this mine to be approved, he said.

Part-owner of Eureka Station, Peter Anderson, was one of the parties to the Land Court proceedings, spoke after the finding and said that:

He and his neighbours were thrilled with the court’s decision to impose water monitoring and licences, and make-good compensation arrangements.

larissa watersIt will now be a waiting game to see if the Newman government, here in Queensland, will uphold the courts findings and withhold final approval until an agreement is made in regards to the provisions recommended by the court.  The Australian Greens are urging Premier Newman to withdraw backing for this mine and to look at addressing the current environment laws with the view to toughen requirements on industry in regards to meeting environmental safety goals. The Greens mining spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters stated,

Despite finding the mine will have real and “of concern” climate impacts, the court’s decision proves that its high time we change our environmental laws so that this kind of climate destruction cannot be given the green light,

Even with these recommendations the Alpha mine project still holds great danger to the environment due to the massive amounts of CO2 that will be emitted each year.  Findings show that these emissions will exceed previously high levels set by the industry.

If you would like to know more about the fight to prevent companies plundering our natural resources without checks and balances, that would prevent serious damage to the environment, follow the link above to the Australian Greens or if you wish to know more about the case against Alpha Coal it is worth checking out the Environmental Defenders Office.




4 thoughts on “Land Court Hands Down Judgement on Alpha Coal Mine

  1. Umm, this case certainly addresses issues in mining and environmental impacts. I’m Canadian, so I don’t know the backstory but it appears that the good guys (promoting health for the public) won this one. I will say this though – the graph of CO2 emmisions at the end of the post is inflammatory and misleading and, from my perspective , seriously weakens the argument against the coal mine. It is crafted to compare apples and oranges. For instance, CO2 production is NOT a good measure – CO2 per capita is better and energy use percapita would be even better still. Denmark uses hydro and thermal power to supply most of their electricity -an option not open to most countries. AND Denmark produces huge amounts of petroleum products that it sells worldwide to subsidize their renewable energy costs. If you burnt all the petroleum from Denmark in Denmark, they would be one of the world’s largest contributors of CO2 per capita in the world. The chart also chose low population countries for comparison – countries with renweable resources as energy production options. Real numbers are much larger, like Australia in 2010 produced 373 million tons of CO2; US- 5,433 million tons; China 8,287 million tons (likely where most of the coal would go reflecting less than 1% of China’s CO2 production). The CO2 emissions have to be assigned to the end user – not the producer. The chart also assumes all the produced coal would be burnt. and the CO2 released. That is blatantly not true. Coal has thousands of uses from activated carbon for filters to pharmaceuticals to steel production. And what coal is burnt is often required to have carbon capture technology to reduce the amount of CO2 released.

    Anyway, good post – ditch the chart before you’re accused of misleading fear mongering, it seriously detracts from your cause and presentaion. Oh, New Zealand looks like the best on the chart – they aren’t. In fact in New Zealand uses more energy percapita than 17 out of 30 OECD countries. And, their usage has been increasing.


    • Thanks – when I pulled from the site I took the wrong one – fuzzy brain strain today!! Rather than go tracking down the one I was after I decided just to put the EDO clip in to finish up.

      It is a serious issue here as even though we do have a lush coastline we really are a very dry country and the further inland you go the more we depend on the water tables to provide water during the dry times.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and give feedback as well as advice. Jenni 😀


    • I know I’m HOPING that the Qld govn’t won’t give permission without those conditions but in all honesty I’m not holding out a lot of faith in the Newman government, especially since he’ll be backed at a federal level. Oh well, we’ve got another rally in Airlie Beach this Sunday re the dumping on the reef and the transporting of coal along it’s waterways so I hope we’ll get a bit more coverage. I’ll take some pictures while I’m there and write it up that night when I get home. You have a good week.


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