Friday, 19 April, 2019

Adani's Australian coal mine moves closer, wins key environmental approval

Scummo approves Adani The Federal Govt Just Okayed Adani's Plans For The Largest Coal Mine In Oz
Sandy Nunez | 12 April, 2019, 13:27

The Nationals fear vital foreign investment will be scared off, and jobs lost, if the government does not finalise approvals for the Adani coal mine before the election is called.

"This decision does not comprise the final approval for this project", Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said in a statement.

But the Adani decision will not help Liberals fighting seats in the south, with strong anti-Adani campaigns in some key electorates.

This comes in wake of the Federal Government giving the tick of approval to Adani's groundwater management plans for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Infrastructure project.

"Following this independent assessment and the Department of Environment and Energy's recommendation for approval, I have accepted the scientific advice and therefore approved the groundwater management plans" for the mine and rail infrastructure under Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten suggested the approval was suspect, saying "maybe the government's chose to rush the decision out on Adani so they don't have to talk about a bigger problem that they have created on their own".

However, Environment Minister Price said nine further environmental plans are yet to be finalised for Adani to commence construction.

"It must meet further stringent conditions of approval from the Commonwealth before it can begin producing coal", she said.

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Adani Australia's chief executive for mining Lucas Dow welcomed Price's approval and said the project would "achieve sustainable environmental outcomes" and deliver thousands of jobs in the state.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the environment minister was being bullied. "We are not interested in sovereign risk".

"Another explanation could be that she is satisfied by the science but the LNP heavy-handedness. trying to pressure people, now creates a cloud over a process that didn't need to be there", he said.

Environmental lobby group Lock the Gate Alliance says rubber-stamping plans weeks from the poll means the approvals are compromised. Adani wants to develop the Carmichael coal deposit in Queensland state but has faced tough environmental resistance.

"The independent evaluation and endorsement by CSIRO and Geoscience Australia verifies that the measures outlined in the plans will ensure groundwater at the mine, and the ecosystems that depend on it, are protected", he said.

Talking down the pressure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Tuesday the decision would be made by "ministers listening to scientists, not senators listening to themselves".

In a statement Adani complained about its treatment from the Queensland government.

The next step involves Queensland approving the groundwater plan and the black-throated finch management plan.