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Proposed Mine Required to Negotiate with Local Property Owner

Ashton Coal Operations Pty Ltd v Hunter Environment Lobby Inc [2015] NSWCA 358 (20 November 2015)

The approval given for the appellant’s coal mine under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) Part 3A was conditional upon an agreement for purchase or lease with a third party regarding their property. The appellant argued this condition was an unreasonable exercise of power by the Minister. They further submitted the imposition of the condition by the trial judge was also unreasonable and inconsistent with s 8F(1)(c) of the Environmental planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. All arguments put forward by the appellant were rejected by the NSW Court of Appeal whereby the Court enforced the original condition. The finding has inhibited the appellant’s plans for the mine development as the property cannot be compulsorily acquired.

 

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