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Lawyers investigate land contamination class action

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Residents of Queensland’s fertile Western Downs may be able to pursue legal action against mining giant Linc Energy as a result of contaminated land and ground water.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are investigating the possibility of a class action on behalf of landowners in the region who may be adversely affected by land contamination allegedly caused by the Linc Energy Demonstration Facility near Chinchilla.

Slater and Gordon Commercial and Project Litigation Lawyer Ben Whitwell said it has been alleged up to 320 square kilometres of prime agricultural land around Hopeland and Chinchilla may be at risk from toxic contamination by chemicals and explosive gases, due to alleged mismanagement of underground burning of coal seams by Linc Energy.

“A leaked report prepared by consultants Gilbert and Sutherland stated there was no other credible reason for the contaminants detected in the surrounding area; they had to have come from the underground coal gasification process.”

“Furthermore the report suggested the effects on the land may be permanent and irreversible.”

Mr Whitwell said Slater and Gordon believed there was the potential for far reaching consequences for locals, including:

  • the land may no longer be classified as strategic cropping land due to the permanent acidification of the soil,
  • potential impact on livestock, and
  • State Government imposed restrictions on digging holes deeper than two metres in an “excavation exclusion zone” due to the health and safety risks presented by particular gases.

“Such contamination may have significant ramifications for residents, landholders and farmers whose land and livelihoods may be on the line,” Mr Whitwell said.

Affected locals should register their interest to keep up with developments; call 1800 555 777.