Rinehart’s coal mine wins approval

Gina Rinehart's massive Alpha coal mine has been granted Federal Government approval, reigniting a political and environmental stoush between stakeholders.

In approving the project federal environment minister Tony Burke hit back at previous comments by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman that the Gillard Government was blocking coal developments.

Marking the Great Barrier Reef and natural bushland as key concerns, he said the project had to conform to strict environmental guidelines.

Burke also reiterated previous criticism of the QLD Government, where he labeled the State Government's handling of the proposal a "shambolic joke".

While the Alpha project is now a step closer to reality, the Greens and Greenpeace have slammed the development's approval.

Both groups claim the project will see an unacceptable rise in ships passing the Great Barrier Reef.

They also claim the mine will adversely impact air quality and native flora and fauna.

The Alpha project is 79 per cent owned by Indian conglomerate GVK and 21 per cent owned by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

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