This decision concerned a large-scale coal mining project, the Alpha Coal Project, proposed by Hancock Coal Pty Ltd within the Galilee Basin.
In reaching its decision, the Land Court found that the mining company's modelling of potential groundwater impacts outside the mining lease area was insufficient. “There are clear environmental concerns regarding this mining project, which is why I am recommending a precautionary approach be undertaken.”
The Land Court held that “good reason has been shown for a refusal to grant the mining lease.” Consequently, the Court recommended that the project be rejected or, alternatively, strict conditions be imposed such that the precautionary principle is no longer triggered.
(Contribution: Case provided by Charley Xu from the Queensland University of Technology)