AN environmental group has taken the Federal Government to court for allegedly failing to consider the effects of global warming when it approved two central Queensland mines.
In what is considered to be the first case of its kind, Wildlife Whitsundays argued in the Federal Court in Brisbane yesterday that Environment Minister Ian Campbell did not give the environment enough thought when approving two mines at Moranbah and Collinsville.
The mines are expected to produce almost 50 million tonnes of coal. However, the conservation group wants development of the mines halted because they say the coal from the mines will largely be burnt in coal fired power stations, producing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Lawyers for the conservation group argued there was some concern that global warming was expected to impact negatively on the nearby environment, including the Great Barrier Reef and wet tropics rainforests.
Solicitor for Wildlife Whitsundays Kirsty Ruddock said Senator Campbell had erred by not taking into account the greenhouse gases. Senator Campbell has previously said the best option for both industry and the environment was to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the coal once the projects were up and running.
The court adjourned the matter for consideration, to a date to be fixed.