The Queensland Court of Appeal was concerned with two issues. First, there was a question about the Land Court’s jurisdiction. The second issue was whether or not the Land Court’s recommendation decision was affected by apprehended bias.
New Acland was successful in the appeal on both grounds. The Court of Appeal found, in effect that on the proper construction of the Legislative Scheme, the issue of taking or interfering with groundwater was not a matter which the Land Court had jurisdiction to consider in recommendation hearing in respect of a mining lease application and environmental authority application. The Court also found that having regard to the reasons in the land Court’s decision and the events that occurred on a particular day during the 100 day hearing, the matters would give rise to a reasonable apprehension in an objective lay observer that the Member might not have brought an impartial and dispassionate mind to bear upon his task.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.