The $21.7 billion Carmichael coal and rail project has secured its final major State and Federal Government approval this week.
With the Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani in North Queensland tomorrow, the Coordinator-General has approved an application for the project’s rail line into Abbot Point as well as a temporary construction workers’ camp.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the latest, and final, secondary approval this week was for about 31.5km of permanent rail line, as well as a temporary construction camp with up to 300 beds.
“This is another key milestone for the project, which Adani has confirmed it will start construction on next year,” Dr Lynham said.
The project already has all primary approvals as well as prescribed project and critical infrastructure project status in place to reduce red tape.
The rail section approved this week will form part of the 389km standard gauge, heavy haul railway line from the mine in the Galilee Basin to the coal export Port of Abbot Point
Mr Adani is due to meet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dr Lynham in Townsville tomorrow. (Tuesday, December 6).
A company spokesman said Mr Adani was expected to make an announcement on Adani Mining’s regional headquarters as well as operational provision hubs.
The North Queensland Conservation Council is urging its members to use the opportunity to tell Mr Adani directly: “that we don’t want his Carmichael mega-coal mine or the Abbot Point coal terminal that would devastate our reef.”
Meanwhile Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen says the multi-use rail line to be built for the Carmichael operation is the sort of project the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) was designed to support.
“I have spoken with the Resources Minister, Matt Canavan, and he is happy with Adani accessing a low-interest loan to build the vital infrastructure,” he said.
“Once constructed, the line will enable other developments in the Galilee, including the China Stone Coal Project and GVK Hancock, to come online and those projects will further boost the economy and create thousands of jobs.
“Using the NAIF to enable the rail project perfectly in line with what the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said in the past.
“The Prime Minister has rightly ruled out providing a loan for the mine because it is a single user but the rail line will be for multiple users.”
Mr Christensen said no taxpayer funding was going to the mine and any support for the railway line would be in the form of a loan.
“We are not talking about a grant or sinking taxpayer money into constructing the rail line,” he said.
“We are talking about a low-interest loan that will be repaid to the government and the benefits of providing that facility will be enormous for jobs and the economy in North Queensland.
“That’s why the $5 billion NAIF was a part of the Liberal National Government’s plan to develop Northern Australia.”