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A Win and a Lose for Community Environmental Action Groups

4nature Incorporated v Centennial Springvale Pty Ltd [2017] NSWCA 191 (2 August 2017)

The New South Wales Court of Appeal upheld the appeal put forward by the community group 4nature that sought to protect Sydney’s drinking catchment from discharge into the catchment by the respondent last week. The respondent was granted a licence by the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) to discharge water from the Springvale Coal Mine into the catchment. The applicant raised the issue that saline and contaminated water was being released into Sydney’s drinking water catchment. The Court of Appeal found that the power to grant consent was not engaged due to an error in water quality assessment adopted by PAC. PAC’s decision was thus invalidated.

Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping Ltd v Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (No 2) [2017] QSC 159 (2 August 2017)

The applicant has been ordered to pay costs of the second respondent, Adani Australia Coal Terminal Pty Ltd after losing their application for judicial review. The applicant contested the ordinary costs order that sees costs follow the event should not be applied in this case because the litigation was regarding a public interest matter and the applicant was a community organisation. The Court dismissed this claim for public interest litigation.

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