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With the Queensland Government facing mounting pressure by mining giant Adani to give final approvals for the proposed Carmichael mine, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged the company to fulfil its requirements and submit its outstanding rail plans.
A letter obtained by ABC News shows Ms Palaszczuk wrote to Adani chief executive Lucas Dow last week, urging him to lodge outstanding approvals for the mine's rail corridor, which would take coal from the site to the Abbot Point terminal near Bowen in the state's north.
"I understand the new rail design you announced last year has yet to be completed, as is a detailed hydrological study for the rail corridor," Ms Palaszczuk wrote.
"Further, I am advised that a lease application for 37 kilometres of the prospective rail corridor, including a work program with evidence of commitment to starting construction, is yet to be lodged.
"The Queensland Government is committed to working with Adani to finalise these matters, and I understand the relevant departments have been communicating outstanding requirements and timeframes to Adani."
The letter was sent to the company on April 5, days prior to the federal Environment Department giving its final approval for the mine's groundwater management plan.
Rail approvals not needed to commence, Adani saysHowever, an Adani spokeswoman said the rail plans were not needed to start digging.
"In order for us to start construction of the mine and get on with delivering thousands of jobs for Queensland, we need the State Government to finalise the black-throated finch management plan and the groundwater dependent ecosystem management plan," the spokeswoman said.
"The remaining plans will be required as the project moves through its various stages, just like any other project, but are not needed in order for us to start construction."
Queensland's Department of Environment is yet to say when it expects to give a decision on the groundwater and black-throated finch management plans.
Senior bureaucrats from the Premier's office met to discuss the progress of the mine with Adani officials in mid-March, the Premier's letter said.
Last year, Adani revealed a scaled-down version of its proposed mine, including plans for a smaller rail line to connect to the existing Aurizon network, rather than build an entirely new corridor to the Abbot Point terminal.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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