Hopeland Community spokesperson Shay Dougall (Photo: Kate Ausburn)

August 17, 2015

Landholders from the Hopeland community near Chinchilla have instructed Mullumbimby-based law firm Universal Law to investigate and commence a class action in respect of damage and other potential harm allegedly caused by Linc Energy.

Hopeland Community Sustainability Group spokesperson Shay Dougall said they had engaged Universal Law to represent them in a class action following the prosecution launched against Linc Energy by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The department has alleged Linc Energy’s underground coal gasification operation caused “widespread, of high impact and, in part, irreversible” damage to prime agricultural land in and around the Hopeland area.

Mrs Dougall said solicitor Cameron Bell, of Universal Law, was collecting evidence from local landholders about both CSG and UCG mining.

“Mr Bell has for some time taken an active interest in assisting us with our grievances. However, the evidence now obtained by EHP provides the potential for an action against Linc Energy,” Mrs Dougall said.

“For too long we’ve been expected to sit back quietly and accept the mining companies’ assertions that their activities are not affecting our lands, our water and our health.

“Now we want full disclosure from the miners and the government.

“This class action should serve as a reminder to those responsible for the development of such projects that the interests of corporations should never override the rights of a community to health, water, food and housing.

“The governments that allow these developments must also be held accountable for undertaking adequate risk management before they’re approved, and for stringently following through if they are approved.

“It’s just not right that a community is told it must deal with all these problems that have been thrust upon us just so some international mining companies can make a buck, cheered on by both State and Federal governments.”

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