Environmental Court Cases: Gloucester Resources

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Natural Justice have developed a series of summaries of significant court cases from across the world related to climate change and rights of nature. These are designed for the public, policy makers and practitioners and provide a snapshot of cases that are being brought to courts in order to advance the protection and rights of nature, including seeking ways to hold governments accountable for their international commitments to reducing carbon emissions.

Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister of Planning

Gloucester Resources Limited proposed an open cut coal mine to produce 21 million tonnes of coal over a period of 16 years in the Gloucester Valley, a rural-residential area. The project was estimated to result in 38 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Section 4.15(1) of Australia’s Environmental Planning and Assessment Act requires the government to consider the public’s interest when deciding on development applications.Gloucester Resources Limited unsuccessfully applied to the Minister of Planning for consent to develop the mine. The refusal was based primarily on the incompatibility of the mine with other land uses in the vicinity. The court upheld the Minister’s denial of the application, arguing that the project is not in the public’s interest as its negative impacts, including climate change impacts, outweigh economic and other benefits.

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