BREAKING: Federal Government approves Adani mine plan
Environment Minister Melissa Price has approved Adani groundwater management plan, just a day after one of her colleagues threatened her job over the perceived delay.
It is despite environmental groups this morning warning they could take court action if Ms Price approved the plan, saying the attempts to "strong arm" her would raise questions over the integrity of the decision.
Ms Price today released a statement saying she approved the plans, one of the final federal hurdles for the project, after its assessment by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.
"It must meet further stringent conditions of approval from the Commonwealth before it can begin producing coal," she said.
CSIRO and Geoscience completed their initial assessment of the groundwater management plan on February 22, further questions were asked of Adani before the Department of Environment briefed Ms Price on Monday last week.
But it was just yesterday The Courier-Mail revealed LNP Senator James McGrath had written to Ms Price warning that he would publicly call for her resignation if she didn't treat the Adani project fairly.
Ms Price did not address the threat in the statement.
Minister Simon Birmingham, representing Ms Price in Senate estimates yesterday, Senator McGrath was a backbencher expressing his view as such.
"I would much rather that he did not make such a communication, but we are where we are," he said.
Adani's Carmichael Mine still requires further approvals from the Queensland Government before it goes ahead.
Ms Price, who is under pressure from her Victorian colleagues who did not want the groundwater plans approved before the election, said only 16 of 25 environmental plans have been finalised or approved by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.
She said advice from the Department identified further work which needed to be done, which Adani has accepted.
"This process reflects our commitment to ensuring robust environmental protection while balancing the needs of Australia's economy," he said.
This work included:
• A substantial increase of early warning monitoring between the mine and the Doongmabulla Springs using additional deeper bores and an additional bore site to monitor flows
• Tightened corrective action triggers requiring an immediate response to any unexpected groundwater impact
• Commitments to re-run the model addressing all Geoscience Australia and CSIRO concerns within two years of the commencement of coal extraction.