The Federal Court docket has been requested to halt Woodside Power’s offshore Scarborough fuel challenge till its influence on the Nice Barrier Reef is assessed underneath environmental legal guidelines.
The Australian Conservation Basis is combating the $16.5 billion challenge in courtroom, calling it a “local weather bomb” that may amplify local weather change harms together with repeated coral bleaching occasions.

Woodside plans to take advantage of fuel fields off Western Australia however ACF mentioned as a result of it will occur offshore, the challenge had not been authorised underneath the Atmosphere Safety and Biodiversity Conservation Act.


It mentioned the act included an exemption for tasks like Scarborough which might be assessed by the Nationwide Offshore Petroleum Security and Environmental Administration Authority (NOPSEMA).
Nevertheless it mentioned the exemption didn’t apply if an offshore challenge was prone to have a major influence on the world or nationwide heritage values of the reef, one thing ACF would search to point out in courtroom.
“If it goes forward, the Scarborough fuel mine and its Pluto extension will produce huge portions of climate-heating fuel by means of till 2055,” ACF chief government Kelly O’Shanassy mentioned.
“We are going to show to the Federal Court docket that Scarborough is prone to have a major influence on the World Heritage-listed Nice Barrier Reef if it proceeds.”

The case was filed within the Federal Court docket in Melbourne on Tuesday. ACF says a victory may set up an vital precedent that might have an effect on how different tasks are assessed sooner or later.

Late on Tuesday, Woodside confirmed ACF had sought an injunction to restrain offshore actions related to the challenge.
It mentioned Scarborough had been the topic of rigorous environmental assessments by a variety of regulators together with NOPSEMA, the federal surroundings division and WA’s Environmental Safety Authority.
“The Scarborough challenge is underway and continuing to schedule after receiving all major environmental approvals,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill mentioned in a press release.
“Woodside will vigorously defend its place in these proceedings.”

It is not the primary authorized problem Scarborough has confronted, after the Conservation Council of Western Australia misplaced a Supreme Court docket bid earlier this 12 months to overturn the challenge’s environmental approvals.


Earlier than the courtroom threw out the problem, WA Premier Mark McGowan flagged his authorities may intervene if the courtroom case threatened the state’s power provide.
The Scarborough subject, about 375km off the WA coast, is estimated to comprise 11.1 trillion cubic toes of fuel that can be transported through a 430km pipeline to the mainland to the Pluto LNG plant.
A lot of the fuel can be exported, however some will provide home markets.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was requested if he was comfy with the Scarborough challenge when local weather scientists are pleading for a right away finish to new fossil gas tasks.


“I am comfy with ensuring that we transition over a time frame in an orderly manner (and) fixing our surroundings by lowering emissions and heading to internet zero by 2050,” he replied.
“That is a goal that is shared by corporations like Woodside and BHP and Rio Tinto. We want to verify, within the meantime, that individuals do have entry to power.”
A report by the Conservation Council of Western Australia and the Australia Institute final 12 months discovered the challenge would launch 1.6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in its lifetime, or the equal of 15 coal-fired energy crops.

However Woodside disputes that, saying whole scope one and three emissions can be considerably much less.

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