Lock the Gate has slammed a weak regulatory regime which allowed Linc Energy to get away with serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant on Queensland's Western Downs.
The Alliance has also raised concerns that Queenslanders will continue to lose out as it remains to be seen whether any money will be recoverable from Linc Energy or its former executives, given Linc is in liquidation.
“Linc Energy’s guilty verdict should ring alarm bells around the country - this is a dangerous, toxic industry that never should have been approved in the first place” said Lock the Gate’s Carmel Flint.
“As well as causing serious health concerns for workers, Linc Energy’s underground coal gasification plant has contaminated water, soil and air on the Western Downs, which is an agricultural powerhouse for Queensland and Australia.
"This is a terrible outcome for landholders who have been left to live with the mess created by this risky industry that should never have been approved in the first place.
“The Court heard that Linc Energy was aware of the damage it was causing but put its profits first. Linc is now in liquidation and it is unclear if, or how, they will pay if a large penalty is imposed.
“The Linc case continues a pattern of mining companies showing complete disregard for the communities they harm, and cutting and running when they get exposed for bad practices.
“It’s crucial that Linc faces a very significant penalty to send a message to other mining and gas companies and that the former executives are also held to account through Queensland’s chain of responsibility laws” she said.