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QRC calls for Land Court reform

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World Coal,

A recent decision by the Queensland Land Court ruling that the awarding of costs was outside of its jurisdiction has been criticised by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) as providing environmental activist a “free ride” to hold up applications for mining licences in lengthy legal proceedings.

The decision came in a case brought by Adani Mining against two conservation groups that had originally objected to the awarding of mining leases to Adani for its Carmichael coal project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Part of the Land Court’s responsibilities includes the provision of recommendations for the grant of mining tenures. The court has, however, become an increasingly common and controversial battleground between mining companies and environmental groups aiming to hold up mining projects.

“I have no doubt that after [this] decision, the green activities and the Environmental Defenders Office will be rubbing their hands together believing they have been granted a licence to rack up costs for resources companies using the Land Court with no deterrent that, if their case is ruled against, they could be liable for the other party’s costs,” said QRC CEO, Michael Roche.

“The QRC once again calls on the [Queensland] government to urgently overhaul the Land Court so that resource projects are not subject to onerous delays that are holding up job-creating projects for Queensland,” Roche concluded.

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