Green groups lose two more legal challenges against Adani

THE green campaign to stop the Adani Carmichael coalmine has been dealt a major blow losing two Federal Court decisions on Friday.

In the space of 10 minutes the full court of the Federal Court in Brisbane dismissed challenges from the Australian Conservation Foundation and native title objections from central Queensland man Adrian Burragubba.

But the ACF has vowed to do everything it can "within Australian law" to stop the mine.

It has been a bad week for anti-Adani activists having lost three legal challenges in court. On Tuesday the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed a separate challenge to the mine from Mr Burragubba.

The ACF appealed Federal Environment minister Josh Frydenberg's approval of the mine, claiming it did not take into account the damage to the Great Barrier Reef burning coal from Carmichael would cause.

But the Federal Court on Friday ruled it was "not possible to draw robust conclusions" about the extent to which coal from Carmichael would increase global temperatures.

"It is therefore difficult to identify a relationship between (Carmichael) and any impacts on relevant matters of national environmental significance which may occur as the result of any increase in global temperature," the court said.

"The minister was not satisfied that the overseas emissions would contribute to increased levels of greenhouse gases and, therefore, further rises in temperature.

"There may be good reason for disagreeing with the minister's decision, but that is not our concern in an appeal limited to the lawfulness of that decision.

"In our view the minister's reasons reflect a proper discharge of his statutory duty."

But ACF campaign director Paul Sinclair said the decision would not stop their campaign against Carmichael.

"Our lawyers will be looking at legal options to continue to fight the Adani coalmine," he said.

"The ACF may have lost this case in the courts today but we intend to win the court of public opinion.

"The ACF will do everything it takes within Australian law to stop this mine."

The court on Friday also dismissed Mr Burragubba's appeal for a judicial review of the Native Title Tribunal's decision to allow the mine to proceed.

The court ruled Mr Burragubba's claim Adani had acted in a way "analogous to fraud" in order for the mine to be approved was "difficult to understand".

"The expression, 'conduct analogous to fraud', has no precise meaning," the court ruled.

"(Mr Burragubba) seems to assume that Adani should necessarily have abandoned the (environmental impact statement) in face of … criticisms.

"If (Mr Burragubba) wished to prove misleading effect, he could do so only be showing that the material in the EIS was misleading in a material respect. He could not do so simply by demonstrating the existence of conflicting opinions."

Mr Burragubba and the ACF will have to argue to the court why they should not pay Adani and the government's legal bills.

News Corp Australia


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