LEGAL CHALLENGE OF FEDERAL APPROVAL OF THE OLYMPIC DAM EXPANSION CONTINUES

21ST JUNE 2012 FEDERAL COURT ADELAIDE

On the 20th April 2012 Justice Besanko dismissed Uncle Kevin Buzzacotts’ case challenging the Federal Environment Ministers approval of the Olympic Dam expansion. Uncle Kevin is appealing the decision on the following grounds:

1. The judge was mistaken in ruling that the Minister did not need to consider existing conditions imposed by the state of South Australia on water extraction from the Great Artesian Basin. These conditions refer to the Indenture Act, which contains provisions allowing BHP to search for water and seek further water licences beyond the current licence limit of 42 million litres per day.

2. The judge was mistaken in holding that the approval was sufficiently certain with regard to the EPBC Act (the Act under which the approval was made). The judge focused on the certainty of the conditions, finding that the Minister had a wide power to impose a broad range of conditions, and that the conditions made it reasonably clear to BHP what it was required to do; however the argument was that the whole of the approval is uncertain because so much of the design of the project is left to be defined by studies and plans set out in the conditions which are yet to be done.

Please come to court and show your support on the 21st June at 9am outside the courthouse. The hearing is listed for 9.30 am, court 1, level 5, Federal Court, Angus St. Adelaide.

A public meeting will be held the night before on the 20th June with Uncle Kevin Buzzacott , hydro-geologist Gavin Mudd, and FOE anti-nuclear campaigner Nectaria Calan. “Olympic Dam: the struggle continues” – 7pm at the AEU Conference Centre, 163 Greenhill Rd. Parkside (enter off Porter Street).

At this stage the challenge to the state approval is not going ahead. We are also still awaiting the judges ruling as to whether Uncle Kevin will be required to pay the costs of BHP Billiton and the Federal Environment Minister.

Thanks again to everyone who made donations to keep this case running.

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