Adani's controversial Carmichael coal mine project is facing another hurdle, with the Queensland government seeking a further review of their groundwater plans.
Adani Mining’s chief executive Lucas Dow said the new request came from the Department of Environment and Science last Friday.
“It appears this process will again go beyond the scope of what our project is required to deliver under regulatory conditions – and, put simply, is another fishing expedition,” he said in a statement.
Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price signed off the company’s groundwater plans just before the start of the election campaign.
Mr Dow said the approval followed eight months of assessment, which included reviews by CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.
He said the DES had not provided Adani with the scope of the new review, accusing the government of hiding the process behind a veil of secrecy.
“Trying to see what needs to be done to ensure these management plans can be signed off is like trying to see through a brick wall – there is absolute zero transparency,” he said.
The new review means Adani can’t start construction on the mine which has been stuck in the courts and approval process for almost a decade.
The mine, to be developed in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin, has been a political football, with the country divided on the value of the $2 billion project.
It has dogged the federal election campaign and the coalition believes the Queensland Labor government is putting up road blocks to win over Green preferences in inner-city seats.
This is the second road block for the mine in less than two weeks, with the government recently rejecting Adani’s plans for managing the endangered Black-Throated Finch on the site.
Mr Dow said the state government needs to stop shifting the goal posts.
“We are now facing the prospect of another tortuous and never-ending management plan approval process like the one we have endured for the Black-Throated Finch,” he said.