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Melbourne:

Business tycoon Gautam Adani got the last two environmental clearances on the ?10,000 crore Carmichael coal mine project in Australia, putting an end to the legal processes of past 8 years.

“The finalisation of the GDEMP (Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan) and Black-throated Finch Management Plan paves the way for construction to commence on the Carmichael Project and the delivery of much-needed jobs for regional Queenslanders. Moving forward, Adani Australia’s priority is ensuring the safety of everyone who works on the project and that all construction activity meets the strict environmental requirements we have agreed to meet in our management plans and approvals. Over the coming days, preparatory activities such as finalising contracts, mobilising equipment, recruitment and completing inductions will continue,” said a statement released by Adani Australia.

“This brings to close a two-year process of rigorous scientific inquiry, review and approvals. This includes relevant reviews by Australia’s pre-eminent scientific organisations CSIRO and Geoscience Australia,” added the statement.

The Carmichael Project involves the construction of a thermal coal mine in the North Galilee Basin and a 388km multi-user rail line linking the mine site with Abbot Point Port. The project had faced massive protest from environmentalists.

Hydrologist Adrian Werner said, “It will allow Adani to drain billions of litres of water with this groundwater plan then we are effectively playing Russian roulette with the very existence of a million-year-old ecosystem.”

Greenpeace chief David Ritter said the decision “shows that the whole system is rigged and broken”. He tweeted, “This is not about any specific allegation of corruption, but the rules of the whole system being unfit for purpose.”

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