Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna elder and honorary president of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, is challenging the approval on the grounds that various environmental impacts of the project were not properly considered as required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (see attatched media release).
This is an administrative challenge, so it does not challenge the merits of the project per se. If we succeed the Minister will be forced to re-consider the approval and show that the contested environmental impacts have been properly considered. This may delay the project, and is well-timed in that the BHP Board of Directors are currently considering whether to proceed with the project. Concurrently, we are building a massive direct action at the gates of the mine for July (The Lizards Revenge).
BHP Billiton and the South Australian government have successfully applied to become parties to the proceedings. This means that they will be throwing their weight behind the Federal Environment Minister.
The hearing will take place on the 3rd and 4th April in the Federal Court (Adelaide). Two Sydney-based barristers are undertaking the case on a pro-bono basis (ie. they are not charging for their time), in conjunction with the Environmental Defenders Office. However there are various other expenses that need to be covered. These include travel and accommodation for the barristers, Freedom of Information applications, court filing costs, copying transcripts, and courier costs (when large documents need to be quickly shared between Adelaide and Sydney).
We hope to limit costs to $4000, but costs may reach $8000 – $10,000. At this stage we have $740 from a recent benefit gig in Adelaide. We have under two weeks to raise the remainder.
This case belongs to all of us – please make a donation – any amount welcome
Please make donations to:
Account name: Friends of the Earth, Adelaide
Account number: 127 009 231
Please label donation with: COURT CASE (so we know what the donation is for)