Law firms consider class action for Linc Energy landowners
UPDATE: A second law firm is considering a class action for landholders, with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers saying "a number of serious questions had been raised" by the soil contamination allegedly caused by Linc Energy's Chinchilla pilot plant.
"This is prime agricultural farming area critical to the livelihoods of many people in the Chinchilla and Hopeland communities that has now been placed at substantial risk, allegedly as a result of the actions of Linc Energy," Maurice Blackburn Class Actions Principal Damian Scattini.
"If that is found to be the case and if the land is unable to be remediated, then we believe Linc Energy does have a case to answer to the local community for its actions and a class action is an effective mechanism for this in providing access to justice for people affected by mass wrongdoing."
THURSDAY: Law firm Slater and Gordon has announced it will consider a class action on behalf of landholders who may be affected by soil contamination, allegedly caused by Linc Energy's now-defunct Chinchilla pilot plant.
Slater and Gordon commercial and project litigation lawyer Ben Whitwell said there was potential for far-reaching consequences for Hopeland residents.
"Such contamination may have significant ramifications for residents, landholders and farmers whose land and livelihoods may be on the line," Mr Whitwell said.
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"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."
Linc Energy has rejected claims that government workers who fell ill after visiting the underground coal gasification site was a result of the Hopeland operation.
The company is currently before the courts on multiple charges, including allegedly causing "willful environmental damage" from the pilot plant between 2007 and 2013.