Parties questioning environment permit returning to court


PARTIES in a judicial review case questioning the issuing of an environment permit for the Wafi-Golpu project are to return today with a statement of agreed facts so that the case could proceed.
Deputy Chief Justice Ambeng Kandakasi made the order yesterday in the National Court after Conservation and Environment Protection Authority lawyer Asher Chillion moved that the case be dismissed.
Chillion argued that the plaintiffs, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and the provincial government, had failed to comply with an order to provide a statement of agreed facts.
He also said there was an issue on the legislation on which the environment permit for the Wafi-Golpu project was issued.
But it was not pleaded in the motion.
The court was told that the case was based on the Environment Act 2000, which was amended in 2014.
The court was also told that the the provision used to grant the permit had been repealed. Plaintiffs’ lawyer Jason Rotep submitted that the only relevant legislation they came up with was the Environment Act 2000.
“Based on that we filed the proceedings. And Section 65 is completely repealed, which nullified the environment permit which was already issued,” Rotep said.
Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tanuvasa submitted that the issue should have been resolved in the statement of agreed facts which had been delayed by the plaintiffs.
Justice Kandakasi told the parties that the issue on which was the prevailing legislation and any other issues should have be resolved in the draft statement of agreed facts.