A view of the coal mine under development in the Leard State Forest bordering the property of farmer Cliff Wallace in Maules Creek June 4, 2014. Taking on Australia's powerful coal sector was once left to environmentalists like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, but now the anti-coal movement is attracting wider support, from farmers to banks and investment funds striving to be seen as ethical investors and not contributing to global pollution. Picture taken June 4, 2014. To match Feature AUSTRALIA-COAL/ REUTERS/Jim Regan

In response to the movement that thwarted the biggest coal mining project in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to forbid all environment groups from interfering with big developments under the federal laws, unless they are able to prove that the projects would be affecting them directly.

Attorney General George Brandis said an initiative to revoke section 487 (2) of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act will be taken by the government to stop environmentalists from challenging big government projects. The laws allow activists to move court against environment approval for mining projects and other bigger developments. Plans for curtailing the rights of environmentalists came after the federal court stopped the Adani Carmichael mining project midway through its development on grounds of safeguarding the environment. Brandis will put forward the amendments in the parliament this week.

"The government has decided to protect Australian jobs by removing from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) the provision that allows radical green activists to engage in vigilante litigation to stop important economic projects," Brandis said. "The activists themselves have declared that that is their objective to use the courts not for the proper purpose of resolving a dispute between citizens, but for a collateral political purpose of bringing developments to a standstill, and sacrificing the jobs of tens of thousands of Australians in the process."

Mackay Conservation Group, along with Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the Adani group, resolved to not consider the federal environmental approval given to the company on its project after the government’s attitude towards protection of environment has been successfully challenged in court. Negligence on the government’s part towards two endangered species of the region, yakka skink and ornamental snake, as well as the great barrier reef, led to the termination of the Adani Carmichael mining project.

Sydney Morning Herald reported that Greens and environment and community groups have described the government’s move as an “attack on democracy.” They said that the step will rip environmentalists off the rights to protests against projects that can pose a threat to the environment and ensure that the environment laws of the country are being realised in its true sense.

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