Linc Energy: alleged contamination from mismanagement of underground burning and releases from the Chinchilla Demonstration Facility
It has been alleged that up to 320 square kilometres of agricultural land around Chinchilla may be at risk from contamination by chemicals and gases, due to alleged mismanagement of underground burning by Linc Energy (Linc).
Slater and Gordon are investigating the possibility of a class action for potential victims of the land contamination. We have recently spoken with local community members and landowners, who want to know more about their rights and the potential for compensation.
Class actions provide a way for people who have been impacted by large-scale wrongdoing to pursue justice and compensation. Slater and Gordon are class action experts and have a wealth of resources and expertise at our disposal. We have worked with lawyers and experts around the world in both international and local cases to secure the best possible results for our clients.
Our clients are at the centre of everything we do: we will champion your case, provide robust representation and advocacy, and apply our skills to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
What was the wrongdoing?
The ABC recently disclosed the leak of a secret report commissioned by the government into possible widespread contamination from the Demonstration Facility.
The report, by consultants Gilbert & Sutherland, is said to allege that, among other things:
- Linc’s mismanagement of the underground burning of coal seams caused the release of contaminants into the soil, air and water;
- ‘Bulk’ gases, which at sufficiently high levels can cause health and safety risks, have been found in an area of up to 320 square kilometres around the plant;
- Experts found abnormal amounts of methane and concentrations of hydrogen at explosive levels in the soil; and
- The contamination is, “widespread, of high impact and, in part, irreversible”.
What are the potential consequences for landholders?
- The surrounding land may no longer be classified as strategic cropping land, due to permanent acidification of the soil, as a direct result of Linc’s alleged activities;
- There are potentially far reaching consequences for livestock in the area; and
- Earlier this year, the State government imposed restrictions on digging holes deeper than two metres in an “excavation exclusion zone”. These restrictions are said to be due to the health and safety risks presented by the presence of particular gases.
Such contamination may have significant ramifications for residents, landholders and farmers whose land and livelihoods may be on the line.
Register here for the Chinchilla / Hopeland Land Contamination Class Action
Our experience has shown that with the right advice, the amount of compensation obtained is often considerably higher than first offered. It is important that those affected obtain expert advice about their entitlements. It is important you know where you stand.