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Judicial Review of Environment Minister’s assessment of new coal mines in Federal Court today

Climate Media Centre Media Release

The appeal hearing relating to the Living Wonders Cases will begin on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February, where three Federal Court judges will assess whether ​​Australia’s Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, is required by law to scrutinise the climate harm of new coal and gas projects.

The Environment Council of Central Queensland (represented by Environmental Justice Australia) is challenging the Minister’s risk assessment of the Narrabri and Mount Pleasant coal mine proposals in NSW, marking the first court challenges to a coal or gas decision made by Australia’s current Environment Minister. 

The Council is appealing last year’s decision of a single judge to the Full Bench of the Federal Court.

The litigation stems from a series of reconsideration requests submitted by the Council under the current Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act. The requests asked Minister Plibersek to reconsider 19 coal and gas proposals because of their climate risks to our environment.

The outcome of these cases could impact the consideration of all future fossil fuel projects in the country, including Australia’s largest proposed new coal mine, Winchester South, which the Queensland government approved on the 7th of February.   


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  1. Phil Pryor

    How can we get a world to perceive of cuts and stops, of equal or near equal “sacrifice” in profits and pollution combined in the assessment, so that this planet can live for us all? Yet the former have nots will say they are robbed, never got a go, will be left behind, overlooked (as usual). No doubt the Koches, Bannon, Trump, Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos, etc., will fund charity and universal development, out of heart and mind?? Coal kills. Humans who profit from it KILL.

  2. Pingback: Judicial Review of Environment Minister’s assessment of new coal mines in Federal Court today - independent news and commentary Australia

  3. B Sullivan

    The recent attempts of spacefaring nations to land a spacecraft near the Moon’s pole were due to their need to find water ice that might exist in the permanent shadows of the craters there. A source of water is a vital necessity before a permanent manned base can be created on the Moon. A source of water on Mars is also required if Elon Musk wants to colonise that planet. The water is needed to produce hydrogen to use as fuel and oxygen for breathing, extracted from the water by electrolysis. To produce the electricity to power this extraction technique Musk will have to rely on solar panels, which won’t be as effective due to the increased distance from the sun, but can still get the job done. Wind power isn’t very strong in the thin Martian atmosphere either, but once the process of collecting has started eventually sufficient hydrogen gas will be available as a fuel source for running the base. When the hydrogen gas is burned it reacts with the oxygen gas to produce energy and water, H2O, which can be recycled to re-extract the gasses by electrolysis again and again with solar powered electricity. That’s why they call such fuel sources renewable.

    Now, if that is how they intend to solve the energy crisis off planet, why don’t we adopt the same technique on planet? If solar power is the cheapest way to produce electricity, then why waste money in pursuit of unrenewable fossil gas which isn’t just more expensive to find, extract and process, but also produces environmentally damaging emissions when burned? We could have the advantages of gas fired power stations supplied with a much cheaper to produce, non polluting source of fuel. So what are we waiting for? All other sources of energy are more expensive to produce. What are all the economic rationalists thinking of if they can’t see the rationale in utilising the cheapest and cleanest source of energy that is available to us? Why isn’t economic rationalism demanding that we stop mining fossil fuels that are too costly to our energy production bill let alone that fossil fuels impose an unacceptable detrimental environmental cost as well as the cost of subsequent environmental effects?

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