|Richard Hunter making clap stricks, on the Lurrujarri trail yesterday with 80 students from all over the world. For more information on this annual trail go to http://www.goolarabooloo.org.au/lurujarri.html or their Facebook page|
The court found that the Planning Minister did not act for an improper purpose when he amended the interim development order. The court found that Minister amended the IDO simply to give effect to the government policy of the development at that site - regardless of any procedural defects of the development approvals process.
As the Minister's new interim development order was valid, the court did not want to decide on the question of the legality of Woodside's current works because a decision either way would not affect the rights of any of the parties.
The result means that it is very, very likely that Woodside was acting without valid approvals at the material time - but we have a government that is prepared to change the rules and do whatever it takes to ensure that this embattled project keeps limping along. Its a moral win for Richard Hunter and the Kimberley environment - and a dirty, shame-faced result for the Minister and Woodside who need to resort to underhanded tricks.
The court ordered that Mr Hunter pay Woodside and the State $3,500 each for costs (Whether or not Woodside and the State are cheeky enough to take steps to actually enforce that costs order remains to be seen).
A shameful result for Woodside and the Minister who are changing the rules to suit themselves.