Infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group's Carmichael Coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, is facing fresh challenges from the environment lobby even as the coal-rich state's newly-elected Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczu today met Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani and assured the government's support for the $16.5-billion project.
The Adani Group, which has already invested $3 billion in the project, has been dragged to Queensland's Land Court by an environmental lobby over alleged environmental problems caused by the Carmichael Coal mine project.
The Labour Party leader has shown her clear commitment to investments and jobs, Adani said after meeting with Premier Palaszczu, adding that the meeting was warm and productive.
The environment group, Coast and Country, argues that the 280 sq km Carmichael mine would pollute the atmosphere and warm the world.
The coal mine-cum-rail and port project in Queensland, which envisages the cost-effective movement of high quality coal mined at Carmichael through the North Galilee Basin Rail line to the coast and the port at Abbot Point, is key to Adani's Queensland project.
Adani says the mine in the frontier Galilee Basin will create 10,000 jobs and fetch $22 billion in taxes and royalties to Queensland state.
''This morning's meeting is a clear demonstration of the consistent, strong bipartisan support Adani's projects in Australia have received from both Labour and the LNP, at both the federal and state level,'' Adani said.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, say the project will create more enviromental problems than the benefits it brings.
"Adani's mine will be the third biggest coal mine in the world. It will emit more carbon pollution and will warm the world more than any other proposed development," Coast and Country's Derec Davies said today after launching legal action against the project.
"This case will draw on testimonies from water experts, climate and marine scientists, economists and financial experts and our case will demonstrate that this poses unacceptable risks. We will demonstrate that this dangerous mine should not be approved and that Adani should not be allowed to operate in Queensland," Davies said.
"This mine will have severe impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, will threaten the tourism industry in Queensland and will negatively impact the economy," Derec said.
"The mine also threatens precious water resources and rare biodiversity," he added.
Derec said the mine posed an unacceptable risk to the groundwater resources, including the oasis at Doongmabulla Springs, which are likely to be one million years old.
The mine will use 12.5 billion litres of water every year, he said, "that's unacceptable for the driest continent in the world and threatens the viability of our continent's lifeblood."
"We will demonstrate that this dangerous and risky mine should not be approved," Davies added.