The Australian Department of Environment and Energy has notified its decision that the Clive Palmer-associated Waratah Coal Pty Ltd (Waratah) Alpha North Coal Mine Project is a controlled action requiring assessment and approval under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBCA) before it can proceed.
According to the Department, the proposed action is “to construct and operate a coal mine, comprising four underground longwalls in Mining Area North and two open cut pits and four underground longwalls in Mining Area South, and associated infrastructure in the Galilee Basin, approximately 210 kilometres north-west of Emerald, Queensland [see EPBC Act referral 2018/8189].”
The department was satisfied that the mine will have, or is likely to have a significant impact on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, rejecting Waratah’s assertion that the mine would not impact on the World Heritage Area.
The Minister did not advise on the assessment approach to be taken, indicating that it must have requested information in relation to the taking of the action from Waratah under subsection 76(3) or section 89.
Any person may request the Minister to provide them with reasons for this decision within 28 days of the decision under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth) s 13. See EDO Qld's EPBC Act factsheet for more information (pdf).
EDO Qld previously advised of public comment opportunities in relation to the EPBC referral, which closed on 8 May 2018.
Read the full notice (pdf link via Department of Environment and Energy website)