Queensland’s coordinator-general has announced the two remaining key approvals for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine and rail project will be finalised in the next three weeks.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said last week the community was “sick of the delays” surrounding the Galilee Basin-based thermal coal project and urged the state coordinator-general to hold an urgent meeting with Adani.
“I expect all parties, including Adani and state agencies, to work cooperatively to finalise these matters in a timely fashion,” Palaszczuk said in a statement.
Adani’s Carmichael mine and rail project has been subjected to numerous delays due to outstanding environmental approvals, including the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP) and Black-throated Finch Management Plan (BTFMP).
The former plan relates to the monitoring and management of ecosystems dependent on the groundwater that surrounding the mining project, while the latter concerns the protection of the titular bird species, which is indigenous to the region. The GDEMP and BTFMP have undergone 11 revisions and seven revisions respectively over the last two years.
The coordinator-general has now announced that the final decision on the BTFMP should be made by May 31, with the GDEMP to follow by June 13. The GDEMP received federal approval from former Environment Minister Melissa Price in April.
Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow called the move a positive step for the project and said the company would work with the government to meet the timeframes.
“We will continue to uphold our end of the bargain and will undertake the necessary work to meet these timeframes, and we’re looking forward to the Queensland Government doing the same,” Dow said.
“This will bring the lengthy, independent and rigorous two-year review process for these management plans to an end.”
Adani estimates the $16.5-billion Carmichael mine will create over 1500 direct jobs at a production capacity of 10 million tonnes a year.