Stop activists using courts: Qld miners


Queensland's government is being urged to close legal loopholes which mining groups say are allowing activists to bog down major projects in the courts.

Little-known activist group Coast and Country Association Queensland has launched the fourth legal challenge against GVK-Hancock's $10 billion Alpha coal mine project in the Galilee Basin in 18 months.

The latest appeal is related to carbon emissions occurring when coal mined there is burned in Asia.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche says news of yet another legal hold-up, seven years after the Alpha mine was first declared "a significant project by the state government" shows action must be taken.

"The Queensland government can no longer sit back and watch these important job-generating projects to be bogged down by court appeal after court appeal on matters which the Land Court has previously ruled is outside of its jurisdiction," he said in a statement.

Mr Roche described the appellants as "activist groups who live in inner-city Brisbane".

Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham refuses to comment on cases before the courts, but has previously said he has written to the attorney-general about speeding up the objection process.

A GVK-Hancock spokesman said the legal challenge said exporting coal from the Galilee Basin would not in any way change global carbon emissions or global demand for thermal coal.

"Global demand for thermal coal is driven by the ongoing development of world's cheapest form of electricity from coal-fired power generation, which will continue to grow in global capacity for decades to come," he said.

"If we as a nation don't develop the Galilee Basin, all that will happen is some other country will develop their equivalent resource and gain the significant benefits of billions of dollars in taxes and royalties and tens of thousands of jobs over many decades."

Comment has been sought from CCAQ.