Adani's controversial Queensland coal mine has been dealt another blow after the state government rejected its plan to protect an endangered bird.
Construction has been held up after the Labor government decided to review the company’s plan to manage the black-throated finch.
Officials from Queensland’s environment department met with Adani representatives on Thursday, telling the company to go back to the drawing board.
A department spokeswoman told The Australian the plan cannot be approved in its current form because “it fails to meet Adani’s environmental authority”.
The department said Adani could submit a new or revised plan, but the timing of that is up to the company.
Adani has accused the state Labor government of constantly shifting the goal posts for its Galilee Basin project.
The Indian miner said Thursday’s meeting did nothing to clarify what was required to resolve the impasse.
“Unfortunately, we left the meeting still no clearer on the process or timing to finalise these plans,” an Adani spokeswoman told the paper.
She accused the government of venturing beyond what Adani was obliged to do under its environmental conditions.
The Adani mine has become a major issue in the federal election campaign and has sparked heated clashes between pro- and anti-mine protesters in Queensland’s coal country.
The Morrison government has accused state and federal Labor of frustrating the project to appeal to green-minded voters in urban electorates.
Labor at both levels has said the mine must stack up economically and environmentally.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten said his party’s position on the project would be guided by science and the law, saying late last month: “We are not going to review Adani, full stop. We have no plans.”
Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan accused Labor of siding with the Greens.
“We’ve seen Bob Brown and his convoy come up here this week, we’ve seen the Labor Party do a preference deal with the Greens and surprise, surprise, the Labor Party once again caved in to the demands of the Greens and the likes of Bob Brown,” he told ABC radio.
“Other mines have been approved by the state Labor government which involves the black-throated finch without this palaver. The reason they’re singling out this mine is because the Greens have asked them to do it.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the Adani mine wasn’t about politics, but climate change and treasures like the Great Barrier Reef.
He said the Coalition and federal Labor were not serious about moving away from coal and gas.
“They receive massive donations from the coal, oil and gas lobby, millions of dollars over recent years. And, as a result, no-one will go to the root cause of the problem,” he told ABC TV.