Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved mining giant Adani to develop Australia’s largest coal mine in remote central Queensland, despite conservation concerns.
Mr Hunt told the ABC that the $16 billion mine and rail project would meet the highest environmental standards, following a previous rejection by the Federal Court two months ago.
“I have the power to suspend or revoke the approval and strict penalties apply if there is a breach of the strict conditions,” he said.
The court originally found that advice about the Yakka Skink and Ornamental Snake had not been properly considered by Mr Hunt.
At peak production, the Carmichael mine will produce 128.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
State Coordinator of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Olivia Hill, believes that Mr Hunt hasn’t taken into account the effect this mine will have on the climate.
“It’s pretty much a double whammy loss for the environment, both in regard to climate change and these species,” she said.
“It is concerning, as a mine can’t possibly be good for any animal’s habitat.”
The Mackay Conservation Group co-ordinator Ellen Roberts told the ABC that Mr Hunt had not considered the impact the mine would have on other species.
“The Black-Throated Finch will most likely be pushed to extinction if this mine goes ahead, and countless other species will suffer as precious groundwater springs are depleted of water.”