01/12/2021 - 16:05

Woodside hit with second court challenge

01/12/2021 - 16:05

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The Conservation Council has launched another case against Woodside, labelling an approval for the Scarborough development as “unlawful”.

Woodside hit with second court challenge
Photo: David Henry

The Conservation Council has launched another case against Woodside, labelling an approval for the Scarborough development as “unlawful” as the group’s environmental campaigns intensify.

The Conservation Council of Western Australia said it served papers to Woodside Petroleum on Tuesday to challenge a decision by the state government regarding works approval for an expansion of Woodside’s Pluto LNG development.

CCWA says its legal representative will claim that existing approval for the expansion of the Pluto facility - allegedly issued by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation - was “unlawful” as it “failed to properly consider and control the environmental harm generated by the development’s greenhouse gas emissions”.

Woodside announced a final investment decision for the Scarborough gas field and Pluto Train 2 in November but the project has been subject to protetsts and legal challenges from environmental campaign groups. 

CCWA claims the development would emit a total of 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

CCWA’s first legal challenge against Woodside is set to appear before the Supreme Court in December to contest existing Environmental Protection Authority approvals.

Environmental Defender's Office managing lawyer Tim Macknay said governnments and regulators should be doing everything in their power to properly assess and control additional greenhouse gas emissions. 

“The chief executive of DWER has a clear power and obligation to assess and control risks of environmental harm from highly polluting industry during the approvals process," Macknay said in a statement. 

 "The Conservation Council will argue that this did not happen and therefore the approval - which was granted by the chief executive - is invalid."

The council has stood by claims that the Scarborough development will be one of Australia's "most polluting fossil fuel proposals" however Woodside has indicated previously that the development has lower carbon emissions than other similar projects. 

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