Possible appeal of landmark climate judgment - EDO NSW

Possible appeal of landmark climate judgment

EDO NSW on behalf of our client Groundswell Gloucester, has today received a Notice of Intention to Appeal the judgment in the Rocky Hill case, filed in the Court of Appeal by Gloucester Resources Limited.

8 March 2019: The judgment handed down on 8 February by the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, Justice Brian Preston SC, refused approval of a new coal mine to be built just outside Gloucester in the Upper Hunter Valley on social, visual, environmental and climate change grounds. This was the first time an Australian court had refused consent for a coal mine on the basis (in part) of its climate change impacts. 

In response to the Notice of Intention to Appeal, Brendan Dobbie, Acting Principal Solicitor of EDO NSW, said, “The filing of the Notice provides the mining company with a further two months to consider its position in regard to any appeal of Justice Preston’s decision in the Land and Environment Court. 

“At this stage the grounds on which any potential appeal may be brought remain unclear, and we may not know until that two month period has expired.”

The Notice of Intention to Appeal provides that any appeal proceedings must be commenced on or by 8 May 2019.

Mr Dobbie added, “In the meantime, EDO NSW will continue to use our expertise to clearly articulate the need for law reform in this area. The NSW Government should codify the findings of the Rocky Hill decision regarding the proper assessment of major fossil fuel projects to provide certainty to both industry and the community.”

EDO NSW will launch a report on Climate Change Law Reform for NSW on 21 March, which makes a variety of recommendations, including ratifying the key findings of the Rocky Hill judgment in NSW legislation.

Mr Dobbie concluded, “The Notice of Intention to Appeal is disappointing for our client, who has tirelessly fought this coal mine proposal through several rounds of consultation and a court case, which delivered an emphatic judgment in rejection of the mine. Nonetheless, our client is committed to vigorously defending any appeal that is brought against the Rocky Hill decision.”