Absurd Rocky Hill decision tarnishes rule of law

Today in The Australian

While the Queensland government’s review of the Adani project is a farce, the decision of the NSW Land and Environment Court to block the proposed coalmine at Rocky Hill is a tragedy.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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19 Responses to Absurd Rocky Hill decision tarnishes rule of law

  1. rickw

    Rule of Law is slowly dying in Australia.

  2. Biota

    Activism is now a not so creeping paralysis in Australia, and elsewhere.

  3. Diogenes

    Wallarah 2 at Wyong – 22 years in the approvals pipeline …
    Feds have approved, the NSW Planning & Assessment Council approved, the so called “Coal Alliance” are still fighting it, and the ALP have promised to pass a law to stop if they get in at the NSW elections.

  4. Jannie

    The Green Establishment has shown nothing is built without its approval. They own the institutions, and both big parties. And they want to save the planet. The solution is to borrow a mountain of money and build windmills. Lots and lots of windmills. What could go wrong?

  5. teamv

    The most astounding part of this farce is not that the judge was the former founder of the activist group seeking to prevent the mine through the court, but the fact it was a coking coal mine which has a negligable CO2 emissions impact.

  6. Nob

    Such ignorance is not astounding.

  7. Mark M

    Like an approaching tsunami triggered by a distant earthquake, a massive cohort of hundreds of new coal-fired power plants is on course to be added to the already overbuilt Chinese coal plant fleet.

    This wave of new capacity—comparable in size to the entire U.S. coal fleet—is the consequence of a little reported surge in permit approvals at the provincial level from late 2014 to early 2016.

    NEW REPORT: Tsunami Warning — Can China’s Central Authorities Stop a Massive Surge in New Coal Plants Caused by Provincial Overpermitting?


  8. John Constantine

    Activist vegynsys judges ruling against the eating of meat coming to you soon.

  9. Alex Davidson

    The real tragedy is the NSW Land and Environment Court itself. Its fundamental purpose is to enforce ‘law’ that attacks and undermines private ownership, thereby striking at the heart of what makes a free and prosperous society. It should be abolished.

  10. Tel


    Secondly, there is the idea that all “law is politics”. This means that legal decisions are a form of political decision, but not that it is impossible to tell judicial and legislative acts apart. Rather, CLS have argued that while the form may differ, both are based around the construction and maintenance of a form of social space. The argument takes aim at the positivist idea that law and politics can be entirely separated from one another. A more nuanced view has emerged more recently. This rejects the reductivism of ‘all law is politics’ and instead asserts that the two disciplines are mutually intertwined. There is no ‘pure’ law or politics, but rather the two forms work together and constantly shift between the two linguistic registers.

  11. Dr Fred Lenin

    Another reason why all public employee including judges and politicians shoukd be on tewelve monthly contracts with performance baded salaries and paying their own super with no pensions except the OAP. That will sort the activites out , Destroy global socialist communist fascism deprive them of taxpayers money ,and watch them wither.

  12. Iva Right

    Why do we bother with government? Everything is run by activists.

  13. Fat Tony

    Iva Right
    #2940866, posted on February 22, 2019 at 1:41 pm
    Why do we bother with government? Everything is run by activists.

    Look at the bright side – when these activists succeed in turning this country into a third world shithole, they are the ones with no marketable skills and will suffer the most.

  14. gowest

    A useful precedent has been set. We need to prevent activities that contribute to global warming. Therefore all native / old growth forests must be logged to prevent them catching fire and contributing to global warming. – Right now!

  15. The Sheriff

    Why wasn’t the judge forced to recuse himself?

  16. Muddy

    Everything is run by activists.

    I implore you all again, for the 6,912th time (give or take – who’s counting?) to cease using the complimentary label ‘activist’ in these contexts. By doing so, you acknowledge and approve of their propaganda.

    These people are economic and cultural insurgents. From within, and hiding behind, the protections afforded by a host society, these messianic narcissists seek to destroy the same host. Taking minimal risk, they take pride in their anti-social crusade and count on the apathy and politeness of potential adversaries, to burrow into the soft underbelly. Sadly, there is yet no natural predator that will hunt these parasitic infections.

    Call them what they are, not what they want you to believe they are.
    Who controls the language you use? The vermin who want to urinate on the cold, stiff corpse of your lifestyle and community?


  17. Fat Tony

    Muddy – “activist” in my mind means “fuckwit”.

  18. Malcolm Thomas

    Judges doing economics are like journalists doing opinion pieces.

  19. teamv, I think you should think about what you write and check facts first. I will not give you a lesson about coal, coke, iron ore, iron and steel -do look it up. Coking coal is converted coke which is very high in carbon. The gases from the coke oven contain CH4, CO and CO2. coke oven gas is burnt as heating in the process. Most iron oxide as sold has a high proportion of Fe2O3. In the blast furnace this is reduced by the coke to pig iron -mainly Fe. Oxygen is blasted to burn some coke to provide heat. The Japanese developed a system of injecting soft and semi-soft “coking coal” with air to provide heat rather than burning too much coke. Blast furnace gas contains CO and CO2 it is also used for heating. The amount of carbon which is dissolved in the molten metal is very small -less than 3%. The iron is then refined to steel where nearly all the carbon is removed. The net affect is that all the carbon in the coking coal and the other coals used in the process finishes up as CO2. The world can not do without steel so it is not much discussed.
    The CO2 alarmism is a big scam. CO2 in the atmosphere has no measurable effect on temperatures but it is necessary for plant growth. Plants stop growing if the level of CO2 should be below about 200ppm. Plants grow about twice as well with 1000ppm than with the present 400ppm.

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