Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has put the brakes on Gina Rinehart’s $6.4 billion Alpha coal project in Queensland.
Last week Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and India-based GVK Power & Infrastructure received environmental approval from the QLD Government.
But according to AFP Burke said he did not have enough information to give Federal approval to the development.
Burke said he was particularly concerned about the impact Alpha would have on the Great Barrier Reef.
“I am today stopping the clock on the process which has been given to us by the Queensland Government,” he said.
Burke said he would make an informed decision on the mine as soon as possible but would not be able to do so within the 30-day timeframe stipulated under a state-federal agreement.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Burke criticised QLD Premier Campbell Newman for the State Government’s handling of the proposal.
“I want a streamlined approach. I don’t want a shambolic joke and that is what Queensland is wanting me to accept,” he said.
GVK holds an 80 per cent stake in the Alpha mine, with another 20 per cent owned by Rinehart.