Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action have praised environmental justice groups for launching a fresh Federal Court challenge today, arguing that the Environment Minister can and must consider the impacts of climate change in assessing new coal and gas projects.
Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) and the Environment Council of Central Queensland (ECoCeQ) are challenging the decision of the Environment Minister to not reconsider the assessment criteria of three new coal projects, one of which is Whitehaven’s Narrabri extension.
Bushfire survivor and BSCA spokesperson Fiona Lee said “It is disappointing that the Environment Minister has stated that she will not consider the climate impacts of Whitehaven coal’s Narrabri coal expansion on Australia’s iconic environments and species.
“The mining and burning of coal and gas is warming our climate, pushing species and environments to extinction and worsening bushfires that have already devastated Australian communities. We must stop adding fuel to the fire and so we urge the Environment Minister to fulfil her responsibility and assess the climate impacts of new coal and gas projects.”
Whitehaven’s Narrabri mine now facing two court battles
Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action are also in a separate legal fight in New South Wales against Whitehaven’s coal expansion in Narrabri. The organisation is currently waiting on the outcome of a case before the state’s Land and Environment Court.
In this NSW action BSCA, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office,
is seeking a judicial review of the April 2022 approval of the Whitehaven Coal project in Narrabri by the Independent Planning Commission.
“Although these court cases are in completely different court jurisdictions, they share the same goal,” said BSCA’s Fiona Lee.
“People are turning to the courts to force decision makers to consider the impacts new coal and gas projects have in fuelling climate change, and increasing the likelihood of homes and lives lost in bushfires.”
Bushfire Survivor and BSCA spokesperson Fiona Lee is available for interview
Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action (BSCA) is a non-partisan, community organisation made up of bushfire survivors, local councillors, firefighters and their families working together to call on our leaders to take action on climate change. BSCA formed shortly after the Tathra and District fire in March 2018, and its founding members were all impacted by bushfires, including the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-20, Blue Mountains in 2013, Black Saturday in 2009 and Canberra in 2003.
Jacqui Street 0498 188 528 / firstname.lastname@example.org