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Court dismisses Adani mine challenge

AAP logoAAP 25/11/2016 Stuart Layt

Adani's Carmichael coal mine has passed its latest legal hurdle with the Queensland Supreme Court dismissing a challenge against grants of a mining lease and environmental authority for the $21 million project in the state's Galilee Basin.

Environmental groups had challenged the move on legal grounds, arguing the Queensland government had erred in granting the approvals for the Indian mining giant's massive project.

But the court disagreed, finding there was no breach of the Environmental Protection Act in granting the approvals to the proposed coal mine and transport network, and dismissing the appeal.

It takes the project, set to be the biggest coal mine in Australia, one step closer to fruition as major works are due to start next year.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the court's decision and urged activists to get out of the way of the project.

"I think we've been through so many environmental processes, so many appeals to environmental processes," Mr Macfarlane told reporters outside court.

"The work has been done, the environmental issues have been dealt with, it's time that this mine went ahead."

The Environmental Defenders Office disputed the claim, with spokesperson Jo-Ann Bragg clarifying the court only ruled on whether the approvals should have been granted to the project, not whether the mine is a threat to the environment.

"I think it's absolutely crucial in a democracy to see our environmental laws, which we rely on to protect the enviropnment, are actually enforced," Ms Bragg told AAP.

Coast and Country director Derec Davies admitted conservation groups were extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court decision on Friday.

"It only goes to reflect that poor environmental assessment in Queensland reflects the weak environmental protection laws that we have," Mr Davies told AAP.

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