EDO is heading to court on behalf of young Queenslanders and local landholders to challenge Clive Palmer’s proposed Galilee Coal Project, in a case that’s set to make legal history.
It is the first time an Australian coal mine is being challenged on human rights grounds, with the Queensland Land Court set to hear directly from young Australians on how climate change will impact their right to life and culture.
This landmark legal initiative is the result of thousands of hours of work from the legal and scientific experts at the Environmental Defenders Office – a ground-breaking new case in the rising tide of youth climate litigation around the world.
This is about deciding the world we want to live in now, and the world we want to leave our children.
In this case we are representing The Bimblebox Alliance – local landholders whose homes and livelihoods are under imminent threat from the Galilee Coal Project – as well as Youth Verdict – a group of young people whose very future is at stake.
These two groups are standing shoulder to shoulder in the legal battle for a better today and a brighter tomorrow.
This case is about drawing a line in the sand for current and future generations, and choosing a world where mining interests don’t automatically trump the rights of farmers and other everyday Australians.
It’s about making a stand for a present and a future where Australians from all backgrounds live, work and thrive free of the effects of climate change.
Our Right To A Future
Around the world, young people are standing up in court against fossil fuel companies and governments, arguing catastrophic climate change impacts their fundamental human rights.
Now a group of brave young Australians are joining them – heading to Queensland’s Land Court to object to Waratah Coal’s Galilee Coal Project on human rights grounds.
Youth Verdict are a diverse group of people under 30, with some as young as 13. They hail from across Queensland – from the country to the coastline and the Gold Coast to the tropical north. The members of Youth Verdict have one thing in common – they stand to be most impacted by the climate change that is fueled by the coal we burn today.
On their behalf, EDO lawyers will for the first time argue that the climate change this mine will help fuel breaches the human rights of young people, because their lives in the future will be at increased risk from bushfires, disease, floods, heatwaves and cyclones – impacting their right to life.
Indigenous youth also face a future where it is more difficult to practice and develop their culture due to lands lost to sea level risk, hunting practices lost due to biodiversity loss such as the loss of the Great Barrier Reef – these impacts deprive them of their right to culture.
But the legal fight against this mine spans generations – from young people across Queensland to local landholders who have been fighting Waratah Coal for more than a decade.
The Fight For Nature
The Bimblebox Alliance is a group of farmers, landholders and their supporters who have spent the last 10 years fighting Waratah Coal’s mine in defence of the Bimblebox Nature Refuge – almost 8000-hectares of remnant woodland, and a haven for native wildlife and plants.
Refuge would be devastated by the Galilee Coal Project, which would destroy the
habitat of hundreds of native plants and animal species, including vulnerable
and endangered species.
For decades this group has been painstakingly maintaining the property’s high biodiversity values and protecting the plants and animals that call it home.
There is no way to offset such a pristine native wildlife haven. Allowing the Galilee Coal Project to go ahead would destroy this valuable remnant habitat and undermine the idea of safely protecting nature on private land. The annihilation of Bimblebox would set a dangerous precedent for the preservation of Queensland’s biodiversity into the future.
The Bimblebox Alliance are challenging Waratah Coal’s Mining Lease and Environmental Approval on 11 grounds – including that approval would cause environmental harm and would not be consistent with the core objectives of ecologically sustainable development.
Uniting for a better future
This is a case that unites Australians from all walks of life with a common purpose – protecting the land and the climate from a megamine that would put both at risk.
You can follow their story and get the inside story on the ground-breaking legal initiative by signing up for exclusive breaking news on the Galilee Coal Project case.