Adani’s massive $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project, north west of Clermont in the Galilee Basin, has just received the green light to begin construction after receiving Commonwealth approval from the federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt today.
The announcement comes as a huge boon to Queensland’s coal sector that has been struggling in recent years from mine closures and company-led cost-cutting measures.
At full export capacity, the project is expected to contribute almost $930 million to the Mackay region’s gross regional product and $2.97 billion to the Queensland economy each year for the next 60 years.
The project is expected to generate an estimated 2475 construction jobs and a further 3920 jobs during the operations phase.
The project has a lifetime resource value of at least $300 billion, and will “enhance economic development opportunities throughout the region through indirect employment and training, and contract and supply opportunities,” according to Minister Hunt.
On making the announcement the Minister said the approval was subject to 36 strict conditions.
“The absolute strictest of conditions have been imposed to ensure the protection of the environment,
with a specific focus on the protection of groundwater,” the Minister said.
“These 36 conditions complement the conditions imposed by the Queensland Government, and will
ensure the proponent meets the highest environmental standards and that all impacts, including
cumulative impacts, are avoided, mitigated or offset.”
The project will reportedly supply Indian power plants with enough coal to generate electricity for up to 100 million people. The project also includes a rail line that will connect to the Moranbah line and transport coal to the Port of Abbot Point near Mackay.
The Queensland Resources Council congratulated Adani Mining on winning federal approval, with Chief Executive Michael Roche saying the announcement was confirmation of the resources sector’s continuing key role as one of the state and the nation’s economic pillars.
‘Importantly, this is being done without compromising the world-leading environmental standards, for which Australia is rightly recognised,’ Mr Roche said.
‘Adani’s Carmichael mine, rail and port infrastructure will drive thousands of new jobs and opportunities for Queenslanders in construction and permanent operational jobs for decades to come.
‘Regional communities including Alpha, Clermont, Emerald, Bowen, Moranbah, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville are all expected to benefit from the development of the so-far untapped resources in the Galilee Basin.’
Mr Roche said that despite the hard work and scientific rigour that had gone into the Carmichael project’s federal approval, he expected environmental activists would continue their campaign to ‘disrupt and delay’ major job-creating and revenue raising projects in Queensland.
‘We have seen activist groups commence litigation as part of their strategy to delay projects from starting, thus preventing local communities across regional Queensland seeing the benefits flow sooner,’ Mr Roche said.
‘Regional communities are anxious for good economic news, an injection of confidence and most importantly, new job creation.
‘Every day that projects like these are delayed is another day project benefits are denied to local communities and Queenslanders.’