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Cougar litigation highlights Qld Govt mistakes

Cougar Energy have been stopped from polluting Kingaroy

Reports that Cougar Energy intends to sue Queensland government ministers not just bureaucratic heads highlight the weakness in the state government’s policy approach to the coal and gas sectors according to the Queensland Greens.

Cougar Energy which conducted underground coal gasification trials at Kingaroy has had its approval withdrawn by the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

‘The state government has brought this problem on its own head by granting the coal and gas sectors access to areas where the community does not approve their operations,’ state spokesperson Libby Connors said today.

‘Fear of contamination and confused water test results in an area producing food can do irreparable harm to primary producers.

‘The Minister should never have given approval to commence trials in this district in the first place.

‘But Cougar needs to accept that it does not have a social licence to operate this dirty industry in the rich agricultural area of the South Burnett.

‘It is distressing to note the company’s refusal to acknowledge the problems that arise from industrial processing in a food producing area.’

Ms Connors said it was a good example of the unequal power between gas corporations and the community that corporations could intimidate state government ministers through expensive litigation action in this way.

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