MEDIA RELEASE FRIDAY 20TH APRIL 20212
In a packed courtroom today Justice Besanko dismissed Uncle Kevin Buzzacottâ€™s challenge of the Federal approval of the Olympic Dam expansion. The judge did not discuss his reasons in the court.
Both BHP and the Federal government are seeking costs from Kevin Buzzacott.
The hearing was held in the Federal Court on the 3rd and 4th April, after which the Judge reserved his judgement. Both BHP Billiton and the South Australian government had successfully sought to become parties to the proceedings.
â€œThe speed with which this decision was made suggests pressure to resolve the matter as quickly as possible so as not to impact the project,â€ said Nectaria Calan of Friends of the Earth Adelaide.
â€œThe judgement is really a product of the constrained nature of such administrative challenges. It really rests on interpretation of two pieces of legislation which govern the Ministers approval. The merits of the project were never on the table for discussion.â€
â€œIf such an approval with so many future plans yet to be approved constitutes a proper approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, how can such an open-ended Â project be judicially reviewed?â€ said Ms Calan.
â€œThe question we are left with is whether the EPBC Act protects the environment,â€ Ms Calan continued.
â€œThis is a very sad day,â€ said applicant Kevin Buzzacott. â€œWe offered the judge the issue on a platter, and he wasted an opportunity to make changes that will reverberate in this nation for thousands of years.â€
â€œBut weâ€™re not going away. This isnâ€™t over yet,â€ Mr Buzzacott concluded.
Both Kevin Buzzacott and Nectaria Calan will be available for comment on the details of the ruling early next week once the lengthy judgement has been considered.
Contact: Kevin BuzzacottÂ 0431 157 747
Nectaria CalanÂ 0432 388 665