Adani could be ordered to cease work near its Abbot Point coal terminal and planned rail corridor, after traditional owners applied to protect sacred sites.

Reports say the application was lodged with the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships on last week by lawyers for Juru Enterprises Limited (JEL).

Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will now have to decide if there are “reasonable grounds for concluding the activity is harming, threatening to harm, or will have a significant adverse impact on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage”.

She has the ability to grant an initial order for up to 30 days.

Juru Enterprises that the cultural heritage surveys Adani is relying on were written up by an “unauthorised” group, the embattled Kyburra Munda Yalga Aboriginal Corporation, and do not properly identify and protect Juru sacred sites.

Traditional owners say Adani’s “terminal zero” expansion will be built just metres away from a traditional burial ground, and that the proposed rail route runs through Juru ochre grounds and restricts access to rock art sites.

The terminal expansion and the rail line are both critical for the Carmichael coal mine project.