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October 17, 2011
Cougar Energy has commenced legal proceedings against the Queensland Government and three of its officials over their decision to halt the company's flagship UCG development in Kingaroy, Queensland. Seeking damages of more than AU$34Mil, Cougar Energy alleges negligence and breach of statutory duties in the Bligh Labour Government's administration of the Queensland Environmental Protection Act. Cougar Energy has received legal advice that the Government's closure of the Kingaroy project was unreasonable and compounded by the defendants' continued refusal to allow the re-opening of the plant despite a wealth of scientific evidence that its operations posed no threat to the environment.
Over the course of more than 15 months, Cougar Energy have attempted to resolve the forced close-down of the Kingaroy UCG plant but have been essentially stone-walled by the Queensland Government throughout this time. Despite the Government's own test results revealing no evidence of groundwater contamination, they have continued the unjustified and unreasonable stance of keeping the Kingaroy plant closed. By contrast, the same government department has taken no significant action against Coal Seam Gas projects elsewhere in the State despite relatively high detections of chemicals over the past year. It has come to the stage where Cougar Energy is left with no option but to seek court intervention to redress the loss and confirm its reputation as a world leading developer of clean and safe UCG projects.