Final orders in respect to New Acland Coal’s successful judicial review were determined yesterday following the Supreme Court’s finding on 2 May 2018 that the 31 May 2017 Land Court of Queensland recommendation be set aside.
Today Her Honour Justice Bowskill ordered that:
? the Land Court’s recommendations on 31 May 2017 to reject the applications for mining leases and refuse the application for amendment of the environmental authority be set aside with effect from 31 May 2017;
? the decision made by the delegate of the chief executive of the Department of Environment and Science on 14 February 2018 to refuse the application for an amendment of the environmental authority be set aside with effect from 14 February 2018;
? the matters be referred back to the Land Court for further consideration by a different (new) Member;
? the new Land Court Member exclude the issues of groundwater and inter-generational equity (as it relates to groundwater) from the further consideration, on the basis that they are not within the Land Court’s jurisdiction;
? the findings and conclusions originally made by the Land Court (on 31 May 2017) on all issues except for noise, groundwater and intergenerational equity (as it relates to groundwater) remain; and
? the factual findings originally made by the Land Court with respect to noise remain but not the ultimate conclusions including conditions.
New Hope is extremely pleased with the Orders, which provide the opportunity to secure the approval of the Project and, in doing so, providing ongoing employment for the circa 700 jobs reliant on it.
The effect of the Orders are that two of the three issues which had led to rejection of the mining leases and refusal of the environmental authority amendment cannot be considered and the conclusions with respect to the third (noise) including conditions are to be reconsidered by a new Member of the Land Court.