Environmental David and Goliath battle continues over Shell's emissions!
Local Geelong environment group Geelong Community for Good Life Inc
(GCFGL) were yesterday successful in obtaining an Order in the Supreme
Court of Victoria allowing GCFGL to seek review under the Administrative
Law Act 1978 of the decision of the EPAV to amend the Shell refinery's
Master Daly of the Supreme Court granted the group's request for an Order
Nisi for Review which requires the EPA to provide a written statement of
reasons setting out the findings on the material questions of fact that
led to their decision to amend Shell's licence in June of this year.
GCFGL spokesperson Sue McLean said:
"Our group's recent victory in VCAT and yesterday's Supreme Court action
forms part of our campaign to protect both the health of residents and
our environment. We will continue to fight to protect our democratic
rights to live in an environment free of unnecessary toxic pollutants!
We fill force the EPA to be accountable for their decision and make
industry responsible for reducing their emissions to protect public health."
Barrister Tony Lewis and the Environment Defenders Office argued on
behalf of GCFGL that the EPA had denied the group natural justice in
making the decision to amend Shell's licence to pollute. The decision of
the EPA to grant Shell an additional six years to reduce emissions of
hydrocarbons, carcinogenic benzene and fluoride led the group to argue
that this would adversely affect them and the health and safety of the
residents of the Northern Suburbs of Geelong.
"Our barrister, Mr Lewis, argued that the EPA's decision was beyond the
power given to the EPA under the Environment Protection Act 1970 as the
amendment of the Shell licence was contrary to the Act and regulations
including the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality
Management); and State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of
Victoria)." Ms McLean said.
Master Daly also ordered that a Directions Hearing be held in the Supreme
Court's Practice Court on 29 November 2006 and that the group serve
copies of the order to the EPA and Shell by 9 November 2006.