Thursday, 11 April 2024

The Environmental Defenders Office has been accused again of launching vexatious legal action to hamper approved developments, this time in an attempt to scuttle a new Queensland steel-making coal mine.

Shadow Minister for Resources, Senator Susan McDonald, slammed the EDO for launching court action against Whitehaven’s Winchester South coal mine all while begging the public for donations to fund their anti-development campaign.

This comes only months after the EDO was strongly criticised in a Federal Court judgement for questionable conduct in a case it brought against a Northern Territory gas development on behalf of Tiwi Islanders.

“The EDO hasn’t learned despite being raked over the coals by Justice Charlesworth for confecting evidence and witness coaching,” she said.

“It has already received a major boost in funding from the Albanese Government, all while conducting workshops to advise people how to become a legally ‘relevant person’ in an attempt to derail projects.

“Now they are at it again, admitting to using the courts as an anti-development campaigning tool.

“The EDO needs to come clean and tell us who is funding this vexatious litigation designed solely to stop the development of a mine that will provide economic benefits to Australia and ensure our trade partners get the steel-making coal they need.

“The world will continue to need steel-making coal for decades to come. There is no replacement in the foreseeable future and I applaud those mining companies that are willing to invest in the future of Australia’s steel-making coal industry.

“Coal demand will remain strong for many decades and if other countries can’t get Australian coal they will simply buy higher-emitting coal from elsewhere. Any country concerned about emissions should be using high-quality Australian coal.

“It is economic suicide for Australian coal mines to be held to ransom by the likes of the EDO. A Coalition Government will end funding for this activist group.”