PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has instructed the Coordinator-General to set a timetable for the resolution of two outstanding approvals for Indian major Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine, saying she was “sick” of the delays.
“The community is sick of it, I’m sick of it, everyone is sick of the delays. Everyone has had more than enough time to resolve these issues and for some reason that has not occurred. That all ends now.”
The Coordinator-General has been instructed to take a stronger oversight role across the approvals process for the Carmichael mine, report back to the Premier by the end of the week to set a clear plan for timeframes for both the company and the regulator to adhere to, and to ensure that neither Adani, nor the government departments, is responsible for unnecessary delays in the approvals process.
The Premier said the Coordinator-General’s role is not to interfere in the independence of the approvals process, but to ensure all parties know where they stand and adhere to their responsibilities.
“I’ve asked the Coordinator-General to convene a meeting between Adani and the independent regulator [Thursday] and to report back to me by Friday with a timeframe which I will release to the public,” the Premier said.
“What this does is to hold Adani and the independent regulator to account and to give everyone clarity around who needs to do what and by when.
Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow said that he would be seeking a timeline of two weeks for the approval of the two outstanding management plans.
“Any timeframe for a decision on these outstanding management plans longer than the next two weeks is nothing more than another delaying tactic by the Queensland government designed to delay thousands of jobs for regional Queenslanders.
“The Queensland government has been reviewing these management plans for over two years now. We have been put through the highest level of scrutiny on these plans, and overcome every hurdle along the way and these plans have been approved at the Federal level already.
“We know Queenslanders want the Carmichael project up and running and my commitment to them is that we will do everything we can to get this finalised as soon as possible,” Dow said.
“It’s time for the Queensland government to stop the political games. Stop shifting the goal posts and let us get on with delivering these jobs for regional Queenslanders. It is time to get the Carmichael project done.”
The Queensland Resources Council called on the state government to ensure that the Friday deadline brought an end to the delays and uncertainty for the Carmichael project, with CEO Ian Macfarlane noting that resource projects needed certainty about approvals and royalties to ensure they continued to create regional jobs.
The patience of regional Queenslanders will be severely tested if this week’s meeting does not provide a resolution and a crystal clear timetable for final approvals.