The Queensland government has invoked special powers to ensure the controversial Carmichael coal and rail project starts next year.
The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure – the first time this has happened in seven years.
As well, the development’s special “prescribed project” status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham says the decision will mean less red tape for the proposed $21.7 billion Adani venture.
“This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade,” he said.
Adani how has the 22 commonwealth, state and local approvals for its project.
However Whitsunday residents are taking court action in a bid to show the Queensland government failed the environment when it approved a port expansion for the mine.
Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping said last week dredging required for Adani’s expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, north of Bowen, could do untold environmental harm and the mine itself will fuel global warming and endanger the reef.
Dr Lynham said in a statement on Sunday the critical infrastructure declaration was based on advice from the independent co-ordinator-general.