Cliver Palmer's company argues decision on Abbot Point

MINING magnate Clive Palmer's Waratah Coal has argued the Queensland Government's decision not to continue state-significant status on one of its major projects was invalid and unlawful.

The company's lawyers told Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday that the company had already spent $550,000 on the process, believing its Abbot Point coal port expansion plans would go ahead.

They asked the court to decide whether the decision was flawed and, if it was, then the state could reverse it and revert to the original proposal.

Counsel for the State Government said nobody was interested in going back to the original proposal, noting the fundamental problem that the proposal required state land.

The Bligh government granted the company's Abbot Point proposal significant status in 2008 to fast-track it.

The 40 million tonne-capacity coal terminal was supposed to form part of a larger port facility with eight other terminals.

But the Newman Government pulled support for the multi-cargo facility last May, just two months into its term.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the government would instead immediately focus on developing T2 and T3 terminals and extending the existing T1 facility to boost capacity.

He said the Bligh Government proposals were "unrealistic and undeliverable".

Mr Seeney, at the time, said he doubted the T4-T9 and MCF proposals would pass the regulatory approval process.

Waratah Coal then submitted an enlarged proposal to the Queensland coordinator general but the plan was refused and state-significant status revoked.

Justice Peter Applegarth said the government believed there was a new commercial landscape, "a new reality", which Waratah Coal must adjust to.

He said he would consider the matter with priority.



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