Minister for State Development and for Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, yesterday said that Adani’s Carmichael project still needs to address a number of statutory obligations and outstanding legal issues before he can consider granting the project mining leases.
Mr Lynham’s statement comes after the Queensland state’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) issued on Tuesday a final environmental authority (EA) for the project located near the Great Barrier Reef, albeit with approximately 140 conditions, including 9 conditions relating to the black throated finch as required by the Land Court.
“For the proponent, and the people of regional Queensland looking for growth and jobs, the granting of an environmental authority by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection yesterday is a welcome sign of progress on a potential major project,” the Minister said.
“However, it is critical that any project be dealt with not just efficiently but robustly in accordance with statutory requirements. Commonwealth parliamentarians would be very aware of this need after their colleague Environment Minister was forced to re-make his decision on the mine and rail environmental impact statement late last year.”
He said legislation required that Adani finalise compensation agreements with remaining landholders, and with local government for affected road reserves under the footprint of the leases before he can consider granting a lease.
“In the meantime, I am taking detailed and careful advice on the next steps for the project. To date this has included the advice that before I consider granting the lease, it would be appropriate for me to consider the certainty it would give government and Adani of having a High Court decision on a current application for judicial review of the key decision by the National Native Title Tribunal on the granting of the mining leases,” Minister Lynham continued.
“Although not related to the granting of the mining lease, a number of other matters are still ongoing with related parts of the proposed project. For example, Adani needs to negotiate one remaining Indigenous Land Use Agreement with native title holders.”
He said the project also needed to resolve a number of other issues, including approvals for power, water, roadworks and airport.
“The independent Coordinator-General and my departments of State Development and Natural Resources and Mines continue to work with Adani, and the several other proponents in the Galilee Basin, to facilitate and help progress their projects,” the Minister concluded.
The Carmichael project is valued at $16 billion dollars and will produce and transport around 60 million tonnes of coal annually. It is expected to generate over $500 million annually in direct and indirect benefits to Queensland’s economy during construction and $3 billion at full export capacity.