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Federal Government Finalises Olive Downs Mine Environmental Assessment

Minister for Environment Sussan Ley has outlined specific protections for species impacted by bushfires as a part of a set of environmental approval conditions for Pembroke Olive Downs Mine in Dysart, Queensland.

Accepted by Pembroke, the environmental conditions include a $1 million contribution to the establishment of a regional fund for independent activities, including on-ground actions and research programs, for improved long-term conservation of koalas and greater gliders in the Bowen Basin.

Pembroke will contribute $100,000 a year over ten years to the new regional environmental fund while also ensuring:
• restrictions on the removal of riparian koala and greater glider habitats
• maintenance and restoration of current riparian habitats
• management of environmental offsets, including on a large offset property of 34,000 hectares
• engagement of independent species experts to increase scientific knowledge around the undertakings and to establish a restoration program to revegetate key riparian habitat

Olive Downs Mine is expected to provide a predicted $10.1 billion of metallurgical coal for Queensland, 500 jobs during construction and a further 1,000 jobs during operation.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the finalising of the mine’s environment assessment is another win for the resources industry in Queensland.

“In Capricornia during the 2018-19 financial year, the resources industry contributed around $1.1 billion in wages paid to 7,070 full-time jobs, with $5.2 billion in royalties shared across Queensland.

“Around $1.6 billion was also spent on goods and services locally, benefitting around 1,430 local businesses.

“The resources industry is alive and well in Queensland and the approval of another project will go a long way in assisting the state as we move into a post-COVID-19 economy.

Ms Landry said the Member for Keppel, the Member for Mackay and the Queensland Government’s repeated calls for the environmental approval of Olive Downs Mine was another example of Labor’s empty political grandstanding around mining and resources.

“It took the Queensland Labor Government nearly 3,000 days to approve Adani’s Carmichael project. They finally decided to get on board with it after the result of the Federal Election.

“As Minister Ley said, the project was assessed by the Queensland Office of the Coordinator-General through a ‘bilateral’ report that did not provide sufficient detail, and which necessitated further consultation between her department and the proponent before she was in a position to make an informed decision.

“The Queensland Labor Government’s attempted claim of the moral high ground on mine approvals is laughable and Central Queenslanders see right through it,” Ms Landry said.

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