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Indian energy major Adani's 21.7 billion dollar Carmichael coal and mine project has received strong backing from Queensland premier, who said her government would try to stop protracted legal challenges from green activist groups to one of world's largest such projects.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, addressing business and community leaders yesterday in Brisbane, said: "We know how important that project (Adani) is to regional economies like Townsville, but for the state economy as well."
She also said that Adani had cleared all the necessary steps to make the development a reality.
"When we came to government in February 2015, it is fair to say that there was a long way to go with the approvals that Adani needed before they could start construction," she was quoted as saying by the Townsville Bulletin.
"I am pleased to say that since then, 22 key Commonwealth, State and local government approvals have been given on the project. Adani has now obtained all the necessary primary approvals for its mine, rail and port project... and most importantly, we have granted the mining leases," she said.
Hitting out at environmentalist groups that have been opposing the Adani mine project in the state, she said her government would work to stop protracted legal challenges from green activist groups. "As my Mines Minister (Anthony Lynham) is fond of saying everyone deserves their day in court, but not four years in court," she said.
"We have increased resourcing for the Land Court and appointed a new president to streamline some of the legal challenges. I was very pleased to hear Adani say publicly they expect to begin construction next year.
"No one should doubt the resolve of my government to ensure the development of the Galilee Basin," she added. In response to the premier's latest comments, Adani Australia CEO J Janakaraj said Adani welcomes ongoing bi-partisan support for the Carmichael Mine, North Galilee Basin Rail and Abbot point projects.
An Adani spokesman also described the comments as a positive sign for the future of the project. "We welcome the Premier's continuing support and indeed the continuing support of the Federal Government, both of whom can see the massive economic boost," he said.
"This operation will give to the economy financially through government taxes, royalties and the jobs that will flow directly and indirectly from the project. The people of North Queensland, in particular those in Townsville and Bowen, will be among the first to benefit," he added.
The spokesman said Adani was committed to one of the world's largest such projects at a number of levels.
"First and foremost through the construction of the mine, the rail link and the expansion of the port facilities at Abbot Point," he said, adding that "our only disappointment at this stage continues to be blocking attempts by Greens activists."
Earlier this year in April, the state government approved three individual mining leases about 160 kilometres north-west of Clermont for Adani.
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