Just Us Lawyers acted for a Kalkadoon elder in battling a Diamond Joe Gutnick’s Legend International Holdings in respect to a proposed phosphate mine in the Mount Isa region.
Our client was successful in the case by getting changes to the environmental conditions to meet his cultural concerns. He had expected to get an order for the costs of obtaining expensive expert reports to support his case but the Land Court ruled it did not have the power to award costs in challenges to mining and environmental permits. Mr Hardie of Just Us law is quoted in an article published in the Guardian:
“ Future mining objectors who could not afford the reports needed to win their case would struggle to find law firms or experts willing to wear those costs on their behalf. The green movement are lauding that decision against Adani as a big victory,” Hardie said. “They’ve said costs shouldn’t be awarded against objectors for trying to review environmental authorities and I agree. But I think the disadvantages far outweigh the protections because it basically means if you’re a little fella battling a big company and you have to go and get your expert reports, you’ve got no chance because you can’t even say to the experts, ‘You produce this report and if we get a costs order, you’ll get paid.’ This means any little person that doesn’t have resources on their own is less likely to object – when they have a valid objection.”
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