The Queensland government has classified Adani's $21.7bn Carmichael project as being critical infrastructure and invoked special powers for its progress.  

All associated infrastructure including mine, rail and water facilities were declared critical, which is the first time to happen in seven years.

Queensland development minister Dr Anthony Lynham said: “This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time, the mine, the 389km rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade.

“It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pipeline and the rail, and expands the coordinator-general’s power to ensure timely approvals.”

"This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time."

The decision was taken based on the advice given by the independent coordinator-general, who met regularly with Adani to discuss the progress of this project.

Lynham said: “When this government came to power in early 2015, it is fair to say that there was a long way to go with the approvals that Adani needed before they could start construction.

“Since then, 22 key Commonwealth, state and local government approvals have been granted for Adani’s mine, rail and port facilities and there have been 29 key milestones reached.”

He also stated that Adani has now obtained all the necessary primary approvals for its mine, rail and port project.

Adani needs to procure the water license from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, which is the only pending state level approval.

Construction of the project is set to begin in 2017.