Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday he supports Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland. The controversial project should go ahead as it has cleared environmental checks, he said.
Many in Australia have opposed the 16.5-billion Australian dollar (around Rs 83,700 crore) project planned by the Indian multinational conglomerate. Activists have claimed it would damage the Great Barrier Reef and increase global warming.
“This is a project that has gone through extensive environmental permit,” Turnbull said at a business summit in Sydney. “All of that permitting has been done, it’s taken a very long time. They are entitled to develop it in accordance with those permits.”
The prime minister accused Opposition leader Bill Shorten of being “two-faced” on the project, and said he is a “risk” to investment, jobs and the economic future and security of Australia. Shorten wanted to “overthrow” the project just to win a bye-election in Melbourne, he claimed.
Shorten, of the Labor Party, has been accused of an inconsistent stand on the project. He supported it last year, then threatened to revoke its licence, before reversing the threat, The Guardian reported. He said on Tuesday that he does not support the mine.
“We have high environmental standards in Australia,” Turnbull said. “If people want to develop mines in Australia, they’ve got to get through those environmental hurdles. If you do that and you get those permits, then you should be entitled to develop your project.”