Green groups not the only ones taking Adani to court

Adani is involved in three times as many court cases with resource companies, compared to green groups.
Adani is involved in three times as many court cases with resource companies, compared to green groups. Sam Panthaky

GREEN groups may be copping the blame for Carmichael coal project delays, but Adani has been tied up in three times as many court cases with resources groups.

It's a point Mackay Conservation Group's Peter McCallum highlighted following a statement put out by Queensland Resources Council's Michael Roche last week, that said it was a "relentless barrage of 'lawfare'" from green acitivsts holding up the $16 billion coal mine.

Out of the 12 cases Adani has been involved with in the Queensland courts, nine are with resources companies, two are with environmental groups and one is with an indigenous group.

Adani is also involved in another Federal Court case with the Australian Conservation Foundation.

"It shows the Queensland Resources Council and the company are just focussed on making us the bad guys," Mr McCallum said.

"Really, the company is just as litigious as everyone else."

Politicians have also called for government to introduce a time limit on how long environmental groups have to launch these court cases.

However, Mr McCallum believes new legislation would only make the approvals process "even more convoluted and entangled" than now, because rather than simply initiating a case, groups would first fight for the right to litigate.

"There will be even more litigation as people try and establish themselves as a litigate," he said.

However, the Resource Industry Network's Mick Crowe argued that resource industry litigation was a normal part of the process, and was geared at finessing the details around the project rather than halting it altogether.

"It's a regular process in the resource companies, or in any company," Mr Crowe said.

"There's always someone suing you for something.

"The green litigation is about stopping the actual mine altogether."

And despite the resources industry's' dissatisfaction with the Chain of Responsibility Amendment Bill, introduced earlier in the year, he believed government could create legislation that would put a time-limit on environmental appeals.

"If someone could convince me that if we didn't build that mine, then people would just not bother, they wouldn't get it from Indonesia, or they wouldn't dig it up themselves, I'd say 'Ok. That's probably a fair enough environmental argument'," Mr Crowe said.

"But that's not the case. We're not the only coal in the world."

An Adani spokesman reiterated the company's' previous stance, stating it would begin construction in 2017, pending the resolution of existing "activist-driven lawfare" and no further appeals.

He said it was only the uncertainty over approvals putting the project at any risk.

Topics:  adani mackay conservation group michael roche queensland resource council

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