State stands in way of Adani jobs boom
ADANI'S Carmichael coal mine is set to clear its last federal hurdle within weeks, leaving the State Government the only impediment to the project going ahead.
The approval, which is based on modelling of the impact on groundwater done by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia, will be ticked off by the Federal Government at the same time.
The move means the Liberal National Party will head into the federal election arguing it has done all it can to start the mine, which promises to deliver 1500 direct jobs for central Queensland.
But it will raise pressure on the State Government to set out a timeline for three major approvals needed before the mine can proceed.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will also face demands to clarify whether the mine will go ahead under a Labor government.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan saidthere had been an "open and frank dialogue" between Adani and the federal Environment Department over the expected impact on groundwater of the mine in the Galilee Basin and the approval would be "settled within weeks".
"You can only hope against hope that the Queensland Government takes a similar approach and gets things right this time for this project," he said.
Senator Canavan visited the Adani mine site, along with MPs Michelle Landry and George Christensen, who are using the mine's claims it will fuel a jobs boom to help them hold on to their marginal seats.
Dozens of workers are already present on the mine site, which has a dirt runway, a 250-bed accommodation camp, gym and mess hall.
But the mine cannot move into its second phase, when initial digging will start, until the state gives the green light to plans to manage the effect on groundwater and protect the threatened black-throated finch.
Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said it would take at least 18 months from these approvals before the mine started exporting coal.
Mr Dow said he assumed federal Labor would not revoke approvals if it won the election.
But he said he remained frustrated about the State Government "shifting the goalposts" and refusing to clarify a timeline for the project.
"Federal Labor has been very clear that they are not in the business of creating sovereign risk," Mr Dow said.
"To rip up existing approvals would send a terrible message to the international community in terms of investment.
"I'm putting all my efforts into working with the State Government to get some clarity on what are the goalposts, have them stop shifting and let us get on with delivering jobs."
Senator Canavan accused the State Government of threatening future investment by delaying the approvals.
"Anyone looking at the way the Queensland Government has approached Adani, whatever you think about their decisions, consistency and long-term stability, have not been hallmarks of the Labor government's approach to Adani," he said.