The Federal Court of Australia on Monday dismissed a climate activist group’s challenge to the Adani Group’s Carmichael mine project in Queensland, saying that the state government’s decision to approve it was lawful, reported Mint. The Australian Conservation Foundation had challenged the lawfulness of the approval granted to the project in November last year.
Following the ruling, Adani welcomed the decision and claimed the challenges to the project was part of a wider activist-led campaign against mining. It further cited a PricewaterhouseCoopers report and said the delays to the project were costing the Australian economy an estimated $3 billion (approximately Rs 20,000 crore) and “over 1,600 jobs annually over the first ten years of the intended projects”.
However, the ACF said it will continue to oppose to the project, claiming that it will “create 4.7 billion tonnes of climate pollution over the proposed life of the mine”. ACF’s Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy said, “It is extraordinary that in 2016 a federal environment minister can argue in court that a mega-polluting coal mine will have no impact on the climate and the Great Barrier Reef.”
The ruling comes less than two weeks after another challenge to the $21 billion (approximately Rs 1.4 lakh crore) mining project by an indigenous community was dismissed on the grounds that the country’s National Native Title Tribunal had not made an incorrect decision in awarding the mining leases. Before that, Group owner Gautam Adani had expressed his frustrations with the delays in the project. The company had begun the project in 2010 and aims to develop a coal mine as well as a rail link with the Abbot Point port.