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Adani's Carmichael coal mine given "critical" status to fast track approvals

In a bid to accelerate the remaining approvals for the project, the Queensland, Australia, government has declared Adani Enterprises Ltd.'s A$21 billion Carmichael coal mine to be "critical infrastructure," ABC reported Oct. 10, citing State Development Minister Anthony Lynham.

The government invoked special powers to help progress the Carmichael coal and rail project, expanding the "prescribed project" status to include water infrastructure, mine and rail.

The move would mean that the government’s top bureaucrat, the coordinator general, can sign off on approvals quickly.

Water licenses were the only outstanding state approvals for the project, Lynham noted, adding that the government is serious about having the mine in operation.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters, however, commented that the move "will threaten the Great Barrier Reef and the jobs it provides."

Meanwhile, the Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche termed the move as a step forward, but added his apprehension that water license laws introduced to Parliament could result in more legal obstacles for Adani.

Lynham added that the progress on the project had been achieved while protecting the Great Barrier Reef as well as meeting the state and Commonwealth environmental impact assessment requirements.