Tasmanian Court Dismisses Judicial Review by the Minister for Mineral Resource Development

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Tasmanian Court Dismisses Judicial Review by the Minister for Mineral Resource Development

Minister Administering the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 v Tarkine National Coalition Inc [2016] TASFC 4 (26 August 2016)

The Tasmanian Minister sought judicial review of the decision by Wood J in Tarkine National Coalition Inc v Minister Administering the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 [2016] TASSC 11 in which the Tarkine National Coalition was granted the right to access reasons for the Minister’s decision to grant two mining leases prior to the mining operation receiving a planning permit and an approval from the Environmental Protection authority  pursuant to s 25 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (Tas).

The Minister twice refused to provide a written statement of reasons to the respondent outlining why he made the decision to approve the leases The initial decision earlier this year compelled the Minister to provide reasons for his decision. The Minister appealed stating the respondent did not have adequate standing to request reasons as they were not a person “aggrieved by the decision” pursuant to s 7(1)(a) of the Judicial Review Act 2000. The Minister could have still granted the mining leases without this permit if the lessee had assured a $150 000 security deposit to cover any preliminary exploration activity in the absence of a permit. However, this bond was not obtained by the minister. This judicial review therefore found that the Minister erred in granting the lease prior to environmental approvals and in the absence of a security permit. The appeal by the Minister was dismissed.


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