The failed Linc Energy company has been found guilty of causing serious environmental harm by polluting the Darling Downs with hazardous contaminants despite warnings from scientists.
The company faced five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing environmental harm with Crown Prosecutor Ralph Devlin telling the court Linc CEO Peter Bond never directed staff to follow safety guidelines and that scientists and workers warned about gases bubbling from the ground, but the company kept operating.
“Bond prioritised Linc’s commercial interests over the requirements of operating its mining activity in an environmentally safe manner.”
“Linc did nothing to stop, mitigate or rehabilitate the state of affairs that Linc itself had caused.”
The court heard that the damage was done, in part, by Linc injecting air into the ground as part of the UCG process.
It was claimed this created and enlarged fractures and that Linc tried to concrete surface cracks and use wells to control pressure, but didn’t sufficiently reduce risks or damage.
Linc has been convicted of all five charges and sentencing has been listed for May 11.