Federal Environment Minister re-approves Carmichael Mine
The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed the latest decision by the Commonwealth Government on the Carmichael project, State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said today.
Dr Lynham said the announcement was a significant milestone for a project that offered Queensland jobs, economic development benefits and potential royalty income.
"North Queensland's resource communities have been impacted by low commodity prices and this is welcome positive news for the resources sector," he said.
"The delay has been unfortunate but in the interim, the State has continued to progress approval processes under its control in a timely way, including the environmental impact statement for dredging and containment ponds at the Port of Abbot Point.
"Submissions to the draft EIS are currently being considered before the final EIS goes to the Federal Minister for consideration.
"The environmental authority and mining lease are currently before the Land Court and the Coordinator-General continues to progress development applications for rail construction in the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point State Development Areas. "
Dr Lynham said that ultimately commercial decisions to proceed were up to proponents, but the Palaszczuk Government shared the commitment of the Federal Government to developing the Galilee Basin.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has re-approved the Carmichael Mine Project project.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said that workers and business operators throughout Central and North Queensland will be breathing a sigh of relief.
"The way is now clear for Adani to get on with the job of building the Carmichael mine and the associated rail infrastructure, and that means jobs and investment dollars will start to flow," Mr Christensen said.
"We are still waiting on a decision regarding the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, and I hope we would hear about that by early November."
Mr Hunt made the following statement today:
"The Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Infrastructure project has been approved in accordance with national environment law subject to 36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history.
"In making this decision I have considered additional information provided by Adani and environmental groups, including the Mackay Conservation Group, the Environmental Defenders Office and the Australian Conservation Foundation.
"The conditions I have imposed take into account issues raised by the community and ensure that the proponent must meet the highest environmental standards. The strict conditions:
- Implement all advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC).
- Protect and improve 31,000 hectares of southern black throated finch habitat.
- Require $1 million of funding for research programs to improve conservation of threatened species in the Galilee Basin over 10 years.
- Ensure protection of Doongmabulla Springs through strict monitoring of groundwater and triggers to take action so impacts do not exceed the approved limits.
Mackay Conservation Group, which only two months ago won a Federal court challenge to the controversial Carmichael coal mine, says Minister Hunt's reapproval risks threatened species, precious ground water, the global climate and taxpayers' money.
"Minister Hunt has again failed the people of Australia by ignoring new evidence on the devastating impacts of what would be Australia's largest coal mine," Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Ellen Roberts said.
Mackay Conservation Group launched legal action in January 2015, challenging Minister Hunt's approval of the Carmichael megamine on three grounds: that climate impacts were not considered, that Adani's poor environmental record was ignored, and that the Minister failed to consider the impact of the mine on two vulnerable species.
'Minister Hunt is sacrificing threatened species such as the Black Throated Finch and precious ground water resources for the sake of a mine that simply does not stack up economically.
Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said the Great Barrier Reef has been placed in peril with the re-approval of the Carmichael coal mine
The mine would be the biggest in Australian and one of the biggest in the world, requiring a mega port along the Great Barrier Reef coastline and contributing to global warming.
AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign director Imogen Zethoven said this development would result in more dredging, more ships passing through the Reef and more mining of coal, which, when burned, contributes to global warming, the biggest threat to the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
"This mine requires millions of tonnes of dredging in the Reef's waters, which will be dumped on the adjacent port site next to the internationally significant Caley Valley wetlands that support 40,000 birds in a good wet season.
"The Great Barrier Reef will also be put at risk by hundreds more coal ships every year ploughing through the Reef's waters.
"Global warming causes an increase in the temperature of the ocean which in turn causes coral bleaching. If the water is too hot for too long, it will kill the coral.
"This mine's coal, when burnt, will contribute to an already dire situation for the Great Barrier Reef."