Independent Upper House MP Jeremy Buckingham has fired off a letter to the registrar of the court saying he believes Mr Johnsen’s comments «may be in contempt of … court and bring the court and its decisions into disrepute».
Chief judge of the court, Brian Preston, had factored in the impacts of climate change when considering whether to approve the open-cut coal mine.
Environmental groups rejoiced, but Mr Johnsen warned the decision would cause «major economic harm to the little town of Gloucester», including the loss of the opportunity to create 170 jobs.
Mr Buckingham, who quit the Greens in December, said Mr Johnsen was contemptuous of climate science and urged him to retract his comments.
«Justice Preston’s decision on the role of coal in fuelling climate change simply reflects the basic facts of chemistry and the reality of climate change,» he said.
«For Johnsen to label them as ideology is ridiculous and wrong.»
But Mr Johnsen, who holds his seat with a margin of 2.2 per cent, hit back saying that he did not care about Mr Buckingham’s opinions. He stands by his comments.
«A judgment was handed down and I’m entitled to an opinion on that judgment just like any other citizen,» he said.
John Watts, a retired barrister who lives in Gloucester and was heavily involved in the court case, accused Mr Johnsen of prioritising the interests of a coal mining company over the interests of the community.
«What is even more appalling is that he has chosen to gratuitously attack the credibility of the very senior judge who decided the case,» he said.
Mr Watts will be a candidate for the NSW upper house in the upcoming election standing as an independent on Mr Buckingham’s ticket.
Esther Han is the state politics and health reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald