City tipped to drop Nullaki mine action

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The Nullaki coastline.
Camera IconThe Nullaki coastline. Credit: @janaemyork/Instagram

A six-figure legal bill and the threat of further costs mean the City of Albany is unlikely to continue challenging the controversial Nullaki limestone mine.

On January 11 the State Administrative Tribunal overruled a City of Albany rejection of a proposed Nullaki Peninsula limestone mine for the second time.

The SAT decision gave the mine conditional approval.

Questions were immediately raised if the City planned to appeal the decision again, which would see the parties head to the Supreme Court.

However, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said that was unlikely given rising costs.

“We’ve spent probably $150,000 on it so far,” he said.

“If you enter the Supreme Court, you can double or triple that.

“If you lose, you have to pay (the defendant’s) costs as well.”

Mr Wellington recognised the SAT’s decision had been unpopular, but said the verdict was based on the law, which did not consider personal grievances.

“The law system doesn’t work that way,” he said.

“Just the fact you don’t like something is not that relevant in a law court.

“You’ve got to have a substantial case and unfortunately we ran second in both of those.”

Mr Wellington suggested locals “accept the fact, get on with it and try to do something positive to the place”.

After the SAT decision, landowner Graeme Robertson said the City should have accepted the first SAT decision.

“This would have saved an enormous amount of ratepayers’ money with the heavy legal cost involved,” he said.

The mine is proposed to mine 50,000 tonnes for limestone a year.

The City of Albany was contacted to confirm the $150,000 estimate.

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