Paola Cassoni, who co-owns Bimblebox, prepares her objections to the GVK-Hancock Alpha Mine just 10km north.
Paola Cassoni, who co-owns Bimblebox, prepares her objections to the GVK-Hancock Alpha Mine just 10km north. Contributed

Grazier backs green group’s court battle against GVK Hancock

A LIVID grazier has backed a conservation group taking GVK Hancock to court after the mining giant described the challenge as ideological.

GVK Hancock released a statement saying Coast and Country's court challenge of the Alpha Coal Project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland did not involve landholders.

But Paola Cassoni, who said the mine would impact her groundwater on Bimblebox Nature Refuge, has expressed her wholehearted support for the environmental group's legal battle.

"I am grateful that the legal system, and Coast and Country, are still there as a stop to the Queensland government and big miners like GVK Hancock pushing ahead with projects that will severely compromise groundwater that is the lifeblood of farming into the future," she said.

But GVK Hancock refuted suggestions the $6 billion project would impact the Great Artesian Basin.

It stated its coal deposits were shallow and ensured mining operations would not impact deeper aquifers in the area.

Billionaire Gina Rinehart's Hancock and Indian mining company's GVK argue tens of millions of dollars has been invested in comprehensive environmental assessments.

GVK Hancock said the Land Court only put forward three recommendations, two of which were related to water and the third about entering Make Good Agreement with landholders.

The company put Coast and Country's case down to anti-mining protesters seeking to delay thousands of jobs for ideological reasons.

Coast and Country are seeking a judicial review in Brisbane's Supreme Court and argue the Land Court should have rejected the project.

Ms Cassoni is encouraging GVK Hancock to improve its modelling and offer more realistic predictions about the impacts on groundwater.

"I am hopeful this case in the Supreme Court will further expose the significant problems with this project which, if approved in its current form, risks destroying the water that our businesses depend on," she said.

"Like many in the community, landholders have had a gutful of governments fast-tracking these massive mines without proper process."