Supreme Court - Trial Division

Coast and Country Association of Queensland Inc v Smith & Anor; Coast and Country Association of Queensland Inc v Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection & Ors [2015] QSC 260 (14/4249) Douglas J 4 September 2015

Full-text: QSC15-260.pdf

Catchwords

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – ERROR OF LAW – where the applicant brought an application for a statutory order of review of recommendations made by the Land Court under s 269 of the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) and s 222 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) – where the recommendations related to an application for a mining lease and an application for an environmental authority – where in both cases, the primary recommendations were that the applications be rejected, with alternative recommendations that the applications be granted subject to conditions deferring the resolution of certain matters to a separate approvals process under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) – whether it was open to the Land Court to make alternative recommendations – whether the Land Court needed to be satisfied that the grant of a mining lease and the environmental authority met all statutory requirements, including that the proposed mining activity would produce a net benefit taking all the relevant criteria into account – whether the alternative recommendations made by the learned member of the Land Court lacked finality because they depended on the further process of approval under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) and amounted to the deferring of the consideration of central issues

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – where the applicant brought an application for a statutory order of review of recommendations made by the Land Court under s 269 of the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) and s 222 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) – where the recommendations related to an application for a mining lease and an application for an environmental authority – where in both cases, the primary recommendations were that the applications be rejected, with alternative recommendations that the applications be granted subject to conditions deferring the resolution of certain matters to a separate approvals process under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) – whether the Land Court erred in law by failing to take into account “scope 3 emissions” associated with the proposed mine and their effect on the environment

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – IRRELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – where the applicant brought an application for a statutory order of review of recommendations made by the Land Court under s 269 of the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) and s 222 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) – where the recommendations related to an application for a mining lease and an application for an environmental authority – where in both cases, the primary recommendations were that the applications be rejected, with alternative recommendations that the applications be granted subject to conditions deferring the resolution of certain matters to a separate approvals process under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) – whether the Land Court erred in law by having regard to the fact that the development of the proposed mine would not increase global greenhouse gas emissions, on the basis that coal would be sourced from elsewhere and burnt irrespective of whether the proposed mine was developed

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – ERROR OF LAW – where the applicant brought an application for a statutory order of review of a decision by the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection to grant an environmental authority under s 225(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) consistent with a recommendation made by the Land Court – where the applicant brought an application for a statutory order of review of a decision or conduct by the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines associated with an assurance given by that Minister to the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection that a condition would be attached to the grant of a mining lease under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) consistent with a recommendation made by the Land Court – whether the decisions and/or conduct were invalid and should be set aside by the Court because they lacked finality and/or were made pursuant to recommendations of the Land Court challenged as themselves invalid