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Waratah Coal says the Federal Government's declaration of major project status for the China First project is an important step forward.
The $7.5 billion project at Alpha, in Queensland's Galilee Basin, includes a new coal mine, clean coal power station and new rail line from Alpha to Abbot Point near Bowen in the state's north.
The State Government has also given the proposal major project status.
Waratah chief executive Peter Lynch says the status does not mean shortcuts will be taken in the approvals process.
"We've definitely got the same level of justification and process to go through in ensuring that the project meets all the rigorous environmental processes to ensure there's nothing untoward in the project," he said.
"We have to go through proving all those things are okay ... it just means that we can get to the end of the process in a timely fashion."
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