Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal has failed in a legal bid to strike out landmark human rights objections to its Galilee Coal Project, clearing the way for young Queenslanders and landholders to argue in the Queensland Land Court that climate change caused by the mine will impact their rights to life and culture.
Waratah Coal made the strike out application earlier this month in relation to objections to its proposed thermal coal mine from landholders and conservationists The Bimblebox Alliance and Youth Verdict – a group of young Queenslanders fighting the mine over climate impacts.
These groups, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office, are arguing under Queensland’s new Human Rights Act that the mine would impact their human rights by fuelling climate change that puts the futures, lives and cultures of Queenslanders at risk.
Today her Honour President Kingham rejected Waratah Coal’s application to strike out these objections, clearing the way for the Queensland Land Court to consider objections to the human rights impacts of the proposed Galilee Coal Project.
“As young people, we feel it is our right to object to the impacts of new fossil fuel projects on our human rights and we’re pleased that Clive Palmer’s attempt to stop that has failed,” Youth Verdict spokesperson Monique Jeffs said.
“Young people have the right to stand up for a safe and healthy future. New fossil fuel projects must consider the impact to human life, and that includes Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal project.”
Local landholder and Bimblebox Nature Refuge co-owner Paola Cassoni said the organisation was “delighted” with the result.
“We have cared for this Nature Refuge for almost 20 years, so we are delighted that Waratah Coal has failed in its attempt to ignore the Human Rights of our sons and daughters to a safer climate and a natural world in which Australia’s iconic species are not driven to extinction,” she said.
EDO principal solicitor Sean Ryan said Youth Verdict and The Bimblebox Alliance had cleared a significant legal hurdle with the win, ensuring they wer able to argue before the Queensland Land Court that this mine will limit their human rights by fuelling climate change.
“The Queensland Human Rights Act has survived its first major challenge, one which was brought by a mining company against young Queenslanders and local conservationists fighting for their human rights,” he said.
“This decision has upheld the new Human Rights Act against an application which would have limited the application of the law and constrained the ability of charities to take action to protect human rights.”