Outcry after Adani's Carmichael mine wins state approval

CONSERVATIONISTS are up in arms over the Queensland Government's decision to issue a final environmental authority for Adani's $16 billion Galilee Basin mega-mine.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection granted the Indian energy giant's Carmichael mine and rail project's EA application with about 140 conditions on Tuesday.

Nine of the conditions related to the black-throated finch after the Queensland Land Court made recommendations in December last year to ensure the birds' protection.

The department said it was confident the environmental authority's strict conditions would ensure the mine did not pose an unacceptable risk to the environment.

It undertook to closely monitor any potential impacts.

Although Land Court president Carmel MacDonald dismissed environmental group Coast and Country's challenge and recommended State Government approval for the project, she found Adani had overstated the jobs the mine would create.

She said despite EIS estimates the mine would create more than 10,000 jobs annually from 2024, it was more likely to be 1206 in Queensland and 1464 in Australia.

Ellen Roberts from lobby website GetUp said 20,000 of its members had donated money to fund court cases against the central Queensland project which would be the biggest in Australia if built.

"Adani have failed to tell the truth about the economic benefits, they've hidden the environmental damage their project will cause and they have no social licence from the people of Australia," she said.

"With the coal price dropping, huge environmental concerns and no public mandate - this project just doesn't make sense."

The Australian Marine Conservation Society questioned why the authority was granted when Adani was struggling to fund the project.

"Adani has failed to secure finance," AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Imogen Zethoven said.

"Banks think this is a project that doesn't offer viable returns."

A traditional owner from the Galilee Basin, Adrian Burragubba, last year went on a whirlwind international tour to urge banks not to work with Adani on the mega-mine.

He was in the Brisbane Federal Court to challenge Adani over a Native Title Tribunal finding when Tuesday's permit was announced.

The tribunal approved the mine, paving the way for the State Government to grant a mining lease.

Adani is also facing a legal challenge from the Australian Conservation Foundation, which argues the Federal Government failed to consider whether the impact of climate pollution, resulting from burning the mine's coal, would be inconsistent with Australia's international obligations to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Federal Court case is scheduled to be heard in May.

An Adani spokesman said it was critical the Queensland Government worked with them to get the project underway.

"The timely granting of an environmental authority was triggered by the decision of the Land Court of Queensland that the mine should proceed, subject to conditions," he said.

"While a welcome development, it is now critical that the state government works actively with us and ensures no further delays can be made to final approvals such as the granting of a mining lease.

"Progress on these approvals is crucial in ensuring the jobs and economic benefits from these projects can flow to regional Queensland at a time these opportunities are sorely needed."

- APN NEWSDESK
 


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