Court win on Shell

Andrew Mathieson
A Geelong environmental group has forced a review of a decision to give Shell more time to clean up emissions from its Corio refinery.
Geelong Community for Good Life this week celebrated the Supreme Court of Victoria order against Environmental Protection Authority.
EPA Victoria had granted the petroleum giant six more years to reduce its emissions of hydrocarbons, carcinogenic benzene and fluoride.
But Master Daly of the Supreme Court accepted that the EPA’s decision was partly based on an error in law because the changes were contrary to a 1970 Environment Protection Act, including a State Environment Protection Policy.
Master Daly has told the EPA to provide a written statement setting out the findings of fact that led to its decision to amend Shell’s licence in June next year.
Geelong Community for Good Life’s Sue McLean said the victory had given momentum to the group’s campaign against pollution in the city’s northern suburbs.
Two weeks ago Victorian Ci-vil and Administrative Tribunal ruled in favour of the group challenging the amendments to the environmental licence.
“We will continue to fight to protect our democratic rights to live in an environment free of unnecessary toxic pollutants,” Ms McLean said.
“We fill force the EPA to be accountable for their decision and make industry responsible for reducing their emissions to protect public health.”
Shell did not return the Independent’s call for comment before the paper went to press.

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