Verdict keenly awaited
The Land & Environment Court has reserved its decision in a landmark legal case which will decide if NSW Minister for Mineral Resources Ian Macdonald breached the Mining Act when he granted BHP Billiton its $100 million exploration licence over farmland at Caroona. The case was heard before Senior Judge Justice Preston.
In a two-day hearing in Sydney on 26 & 27 October, lawyers for CCAG argued that the Minister had failed to comply with the Act in a number of ways in issuing EL6505 to BHP. CCAG are seeking to have the licence declared invalid.
In his summing up, Mr Bruce McClintock SC for CCAG told the Judge: “There seems to have been a serious degree of confusion within the Department as to what was going on. It is extremely easy to comply with the relevant sections of the Mining Act and it is clear that the Minister has not done so.”
A decision in this important case is expected before the end of the year.