Our congratulations go out to EDO WA and Slater & Gordon for their win in the Supreme Court of WA on Monday for The Wilderness Society of WA (Inc) and Mr Richard Hunter, a Goolaraboolooo man and traditional owner.
The case challenged the decisions by the WA State Government that approved the Browse LNG Precinct Proposal at James Price Point.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Martin ruled that three decisions regarding environmental assessment of the proposal were unlawful and therefore invalid, because they were made at meetings at which a number, often a majority, of those participating in the decision making were disqualified because of their financial interest in the proposal.
The court win is integral to the fight to protect the environmental and cultural heritage values of James Price Point from the impacts of the Browse LNG proposal, a liquefied natural gas plant project. ‘We cannot be certain but this decision probably means that the project is dead. It will likely have to go back to stage one of the assessment process,’ says EDO WA’s Principal Solicitor, Mr Patrick Pearlman.
This case is a good example of why responsibility for national environmental laws ought not be transferred to the States. As demonstrated by the Chief Justice’s decision, State governments often have a conflict of interest when it comes to major development and they cannot always be relied upon to look after nationally important assets.