Justice Estcourt rules Nelson Bay River mine permit amendments unlawful

Save the TarkineSave the Tarkine has welcomed Justice Estcourt’s ruling in it’s Judicial Review case against the Nelson Bay River mine approval amendments. The amendments by the Director of the Environment Protection Authority allowed the mine to store twenty times as much acid producing waste rock in an above ground storage facility that the original EPA Board assessment rejected as unsafe.

“This decision confirms what Save the Tarkine has been saying for over a year – that the amendment to the approval of the Nelson Bay River mine was unlawful” , said Save the Tarkine Campaign Coordinator, Scott Jordan.

“This is the second time a court has overturned mine approvals for this project”.

“Government must act immediately to ensure the proper and below ground storage of wastes currently at risk of contaminating the Nelson Bay River”.

But today’s win is bittersweet.

“The fact is that we started this legal process last November, and the EPA has delayed and frustrated this case, including seven months of delays to provide a Statement of Reasons.”

“Justice delayed is justice denied, and this is true for this mine. The destruction inflicted on the landscape at Nelson Bay River by unlawful mining is a blight on our regulation systems, and act as a warning to governments that seek to water down environmental protections and remove public participation”.

While the legal challenge to the amended approval took thirteen months, the mine itself was placed into shutdown after just seven months citing financial factors.

Save the Tarkine acknowledges the vital work of the Environment Defender’s Office, and counsel Jeremy Gobbo QC and Juliet Forsyth and the support they have provided in this case.

For more information or comment:
Scott Jordan, Campaign Coordinator, 0428300324

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  • commented 2016-09-16 00:13:52 +1000
    Better late than never though don’t you think. Although a better way to have handled the whole situation would have been to put tools and equipment into self storage somewhere and put everything on hold until the whole proceedings could have been finalised and completed before anything was done to the environment and surrounding area. Now there is irreparable damage and time that can never be recovered again..