Following the Federal Court overturning the environmental approval for the Adani Mine, Samantha Hepburn wrote in The Conversation (5.8.15) that the broader issue of climate change was not considered:
‘The environment minister is required under the EPBC Act to give regard to the social and economic impacts of issuing a coal licence in such an environmentally significant area. In making this assessment, the minister is required to consider the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
‘This means that the minister must evaluate not only how the land will be impacted, but also broader issues relevant to intergenerational equity. The EPBC Act also specifically mandates that the precautionary principle be taken into account in making decisions and approvals in areas of national environmental significance, like the Great Barrier Reef National Park. …
‘Hopefully, any future assessment will also involve a more detailed evaluation of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions at both the global and domestic level. This is an increasingly crucial concern given the importance of mitigating fossil fuel emissions in response to climate change imperatives.’