Adani’s coal mine project gets re-approval in Australia

From Natasha Chaku
Melbourne

Indian mining giant Adani’s plan to build one of the world’s largest coal mines got a new lease of life today after the Australian government gave its re-approval to the 16.5 billion controversy-hit project but with “strictest conditions” amid environmental concerns.

Over two months after an Australian court revoked the environmental approval for the project, Environment Minister Greg Hunt signed the papers, giving Adani the re-approval with conditions imposed that take into account community issues and would ensure that the company meets the highest environmental standards.

The federal court in August had revoked the original approval due to a bureaucratic bungle over two vulnerable species — the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

Stating that Adani’s project was given re-approval “in accordance with national environment law”, Hunt said his nod for the project considered additional information provided by Adani and environmental groups.

The approval would be “subject to 36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history,” he said.

“The conditions I have imposed take into account issues raised by the community and ensure that the proponent must meet the highest environmental standards,” Hunt was quoted as saying by ABC News.

“The rigorous conditions will protect threatened species and provide long-term benefits for the environment through the development of an offset package,” he said.

Hunt said he would personally approve the measures before mining can start.

Meanwhile, Adani Australia today welcomed the latest announcement and said the re-approval by the federal government made it clear that concerns have been addressed, reflected in rigorous and painstaking conditions.

Adani stressed that what was required for companies planning major job creating and infrastructure generating projects in Australia is certainty on approvals.

“It is certainty over the remaining approvals that is now key to the company progressing its plan to deliver mine, rail and port projects in Queensland that will deliver 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, and USD 22 billion in taxes and royalties to be reinvested back into community services,” the statement said.

“Consistent with our public statements over the past several months, we look forward to the remaining government approvals and decision processes being dealt with promptly to ensure these job creating projects get back on track, so the much needed economic benefits of this project can commence and we can continue with our aspiration to build a long term future with Queensland,” the company said.

Conservationists fears that the project threatens the Great Barrier Reef and vulnerable species while worsening global climate change.

PTI

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