Grazier's case against Kevin’s Corner begins
A CENTRAL Queensland grazier has taken his battle to stop Gina Rinehart's $4.2 billion Kevin's Corner mine to the Land Court.
Bruce Currie, who is representing himself, said the Galilee Basin mine would destroy his property's groundwater and he would no longer be able to run his 1800 head of cattle.
He said the groundwater feeds into the Great Artesian Basin, one of the world's largest underground water reservoirs.
But the barrister representing Ms Rinehart's Hancock Coal and the other company behind the mine, GVK, told the court experts found the likelihood of damage to the basin was low.
Outside court Mr Currie questioned the scientific modelling.
"If their predicted modelling is wrong, what does that mean for other primary producers in the area?" he said.
"If we lose our groundwater supplies we lose our business, our livelihood, our passion, everything we stand for."
GVK Hancock barrister Damian Clothier conceded the evidence was predicted modelling, but it was based on data.
Mr Clothier said the groundwater table level, flow and permeability of rock layers was all measurable.
He said despite the uncertainties, the modelling could not be refuted.
"If that were the test you would ultimately say you'll never get a mining licence," he said.
"Or do you say that you've got a level of information which is to be validated through actual experience and in respect of which you can condition and manage?"
Three other people along with environmental groups Coast and County Association of Queensland, North Queensland Conservation Council and Mackay Conservation Group are opposing the mine with Mr Currie.
Mr Currie said his direct business cost of the legal battle was more than $200,000.
"Just the impact it's had on what we've had to spend and sacrifice for us to try and participate in this, because we are not legally trained in the legal sector, so I've had to learn and try and equip myself and skill myself up to being able to prepare and represent our business," he said.
Mr Currie admitted he was not confident in his legal abilities, but said he did not have a choice about going to court.
"If we lose this groundwater I lose my business."
The hearing is expected to run for two weeks in Brisbane.
- APN NEWSDESK