The Australian Federal Environment Minister, Mr Tony Burke, has said that his government and GVK are working on the environment assessment process for the Alpha coal mine project located in Galilee basin.

Highlighting the ‘significant progress over the last week' made on Federal Government's environment assessment process for GVK's coal mine and rail project in Australia, Mr Burke clarified that his earlier comment about ‘stopping the clock' on the project did not mean stopping the process.

The Minister, on the contrary, said that the Federal Government is closely working with GVK on the environment assessment process and significant progress has been made, according to a statement provided by the GVK group here.

The Federal Government is working closely with the GVK team. “It was agreed that my department would conduct a separate national environmental assessment process for Alpha coal mine and rail project,” he said.

GREENPEACE

Mr Julian Vincent, Climate & Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, told Business Line, “This was a sensitive matter as the project comes in the Great Barrier Reef. Extensive studies have been conducted on the reef and UNESCO has come up with a report about its importance.”

He said that the impact of coal mining and transport on the region needs to be thoroughly assessed.

vrishi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 15, 2012)
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