GVK Hancock and landholders tussle in court

WESTERN Queensland landholders are tussling with multi-national mining giant GVK Hancock for the right to refer to confidential "make-good" agreements with the miner in court.

GVK Hancock has approvals to build its $3.2 billion Alpha coal mine in the Galilee Basin, west of Mackay and Rockhampton.

Wednesday marked the third day of Queensland Land Court proceedings against GVK Hancock - co-owned by Indian firm GVK and magnate Gina Rinehart - as environmental advocates and landholders push for the refusal of Alpha's environmental authority and mining lease.

Submissions made by GVK Hancock staff prompted objections from landholders who felt the testimony implied they were unreasonable during negotiations of these currently-secret agreements.

The drafted deals, if signed, will guide how compensation is offered to landholders, should their properties be affected once Alpha is developed.

Janeice Anderson and Bruce Currie asked the court for permission to submit the draft arrangements in an effort to defend themselves from these alleged implications made by the company.

The court would allow Mr Currie to discuss the process of hammering out the proposed deal, but not its detail.

It is yet to rule on the claim from Ms Anderson.

The case against GVK Hancock is led by the Coast and Country Association Queensland, an environmental activist group.

Coast and Country's claim includes asking the company be responsible for any pollution caused by the mine's coal exports, even if it occurs in a foreign country.

Landholders involved in the case are more focussed on potential water impacts from the mine.



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