The New South Wales Land and Environment Court has upheld a State Government ban on the Rocky Hill open cut coal mine in the Hunter Valley.
In delivering his verdict, Chief Judge Brian Preston SC said that the proposed mine would “be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” both for its social impacts and because of the greenhouse gas pollution it would produce.
Chief Judge Preston said that the new coal mine would significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions in the area and would contradict Australia’s Paris climate agreement commitments.
The court heard expert testimony from Climate Councillor, Professor Will Steffen who emphasised that coal reserves cannot be developed if we are to to limit global temperature rise. “You cannot reduce emissions by increasing them,” Professor Steffen told the court. “It doesn’t take Einstein to work that out.”
“This landmark decision sends a clear message to the fossil fuel industry that it cannot continue to expand if we are serious about tackling climate change,” said Professor Steffen.