Adani set­back in mine pro­ject

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Whit­sun­days is again mak­ing waves in the fos­sil fu­els de­bate, with the Fed­eral Court last week over­turn­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval for Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Pro­ject.

The de­ci­sion is in­tended to pro­tect the habi­tat of the yakka skink and the or­na­men­tal snake, with lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment groups hail­ing the move a vic­tory.

How­ever, Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Christensen said the back­flip would leave un­em­ployed Aus­tralians out in the cold.

“This re­gion is suf­fer­ing the ef­fects of a down­turn in the re­source sec­tor and we all know there has been a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in jobs,” he said.

Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil chair­man Michael Roche agreed.

“This is­sue has rammed home to the man and woman in the street the real im­pli­ca­tions for the econ­omy and jobs of the ac­tivists’ wreck­ing tac­tics,” he said.

“Maybe peo­ple will start to un­der­stand that there re­ally is a well-funded and well-co­or­di­nated cam­paign be­ing ex­e­cuted by ac­tivists.”

Mr Christensen ques­tioned the State Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to fund groups that op­posed the projects, say­ing it was “feed­ing the hand that’s bit­ing us”.

“They’ve given $50,000 to Mackay Con­ser­va­tion Group – and this is the group who are do­ing their darn­d­est to kill off 10,000 jobs,” he said.

“This ef­fec­tively means the State Labour gov­ern­ment is pay­ing them $5 for ev­ery job they aim to kill off.”

Mr Christensen said he had re­cently spo­ken with Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt, who had in­di­cated to him the ap­proval de­lay was “largely an ad­min­is­tra­tive is­sue”.

“While we can’t pre-empt a fi­nal de­ci­sion about the pro­ject, the process we are now look­ing at should take no more than eight weeks,” he said.

DE­BATE: En­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Pro­ject has been over­turned. Photo: Peter Holt

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