It is now up to the Queensland government to sign off on two key environmental approvals for Indian mining giant Adani's Carmichael coal mine project to go ahead.
Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price today accepted independent technical advice from the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia who each confirmed revised plans for "groundwater management" met stringent scientific requirements.
The decision does not mean final approval for the mine, but a green light for construction to begin on the project now only requires a further 9 approvals from the Queensland government.
Two of these approvals could hold up the project if they aren't signed off by QLD Labor Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk's government.
They are the groundwater plan that Queensland must now also tick off and another to manage the tiny and endangered Black-Throated Finch.
Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said the Queensland government had continually shifted goal posts when it came to finalising the outstanding environmental management plans for the mine.
"It's time the Queensland government gave us a fair go and stopped shifting the goal posts so we can get on with delivering these jobs," he said.
Ms Price signed off after reportedly facing pressure from colleagues to to do so before the impending federal election. If approval for the groundwater management plan was not given before the Coalition federal government called the election, Morrison's government would have had to consult with the Opposition before permission was granted.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten claimed the minster was "bullied" by her colleagues to give the go ahead after The Courier-Mail revealed LNP Senator James McGrath had written to Ms Price warning he would publicly call for her resignation if she didn't treat the Adani project fairly.
Federal Greens MPs and environmental group and showed the federal government gave in to pressure from Adani.
Echoing Mr Shorten, Greens Senator Larissa Waters said Ms Price had bowed to bullies within her own party, and is risking groundwater resources.
"Shorten's Labor must come out now and say where they stand on Adani's climate-wrecking, reef-bleaching & job-destroying mega coal mine," the Greens MP tweeted.
The Australian Conservation Foundation also said the assessment process had been subject to political interference and warned of court challenges if future approvals were rushed through before the election.
Environmental lobby group Lock the Gate Alliance said rubber-stamping plans just weeks from the next poll meant there was a question mark over any approvals.
"There has been blatant political interference in relation to this issue over the last week, with LNP threats against the Environment Minister and hurried meetings between the Adani CEO with the Prime Minister," spokeswoman Carmel Flint said.
They are calling for an investigation into how the approval was granted.
- with AAP