Queensland’s Parliament has supported the approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin after a motion supporting the approval of all state government approvals was passed with cross party support.
The motion was tabled by Lawrence Springborg, Leader of the Liberal National Party Opposition, and called on the Labor government to “immediately provide all state government approvals necessary for Adani’s Carmichael mine to proceed to help drive the creation of thousands of jobs for central and northern Queensland.”
The Carmichael project includes a 60 million tpy opencast coal mine with an associated rail link to an expanded Abbot Point port, through which coal would be exported to India.
Speaking in Parliament, the Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, said that the government “strongly supports the sustainable development of the Galilee Basin for the jobs and economic development it could provide for regional Queensland.”
Defending the government’s record, Dr Lynham also noted that the government and the independent Coordinator General were working with Adani to “facilitate their approvals in accordance with statutory obligations” but that the projects mining leases could only be approved when compensation agreements had been reached.
“My focus is to do this thoroughly. Statutory assessments and decision-making process must be robust and comprehensive to minimise any risk of legal challenge,” concluded Dr Lynham, acknowledging the significant legal opposition the project has already and would continue to face.
Dr Lynham also appeared to rule out any attempt to fast track project approval, saying: “I can assure the people of Queensland, particularly those who want the jobs and economic development that this project could offer: I will only make decisions armed with all of the relevant facts, and with careful and detailed consideration.”
The Queensland government has already said the approval of the project would be subject to its election commitments to protect the Galilee Basin’s Caley Valley Wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area from damage associated with the construction of the mine, railway and Abbot Point port. This includes a prohibition on dredge work at Abbot Point, which lies close to the Great Barrier Reef, until funding has been put in place to support all elements of the project.
The government has also said that it would not provide public money to fund infrastructure development for the project.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.