Laws to tight groundwater licensing for mines - but not Adani
Gail Burke (ABC 10.11.16) reports that the Queensland Government has succeeded in passing laws to tighten groundwater licence requirements for mines, while also appeasing the Indian mining giant Adani.
Queensland Government 'steps up' to advance Adani mine
On October 9 2016 Queensland State Development Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, announced that:
'The Palaszczuk Government has invoked special powers to progress the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal and rail project. The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure – the first time this has happened in seven years. As well, the project’s special “prescribed project” status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.'
Dr Lynham said his decision would mean less red tape for the proposed project and the jobs and business opportunities it offered.
'This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade. It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pipeline and the rail, and expands the Coordinator-General’s power to ensure timely approvals.'
Dr Lynham said the declaration was based on advice from the independent Coordinator-General, who continued to meet regularly with Adani to progress the project.
Retiring Resources Council CEO attacks Environmental Defender's Office
Michael Roche has criticised the Palaszczuk Government for funding the Environmental Defender's Office.