OCTOBER 15, 2015: THE long wait for a decision on the Carmichael Mine Project is over; with word today that Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved the project.
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.
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
“The rigorous conditions will protect threatened species and provide long-term benefits for the environment through the development of an offset package. These measures must be approved by myself before mining can start.”
Carmichael Mine Project
- Will create the country’s largest thermal coal mine, with associated rail and port infrastructure
- It represents an investment of $16.5 billion, and it would produce royalties in excess of $22 billion
- It will provide an estimated 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the project
- The mine alone in its first phase will generate 1,494 jobs
- Because of the remote location, workers will fly in and fly out from regional centres such as Mackay