Premier and Adani yet to talk over $1b loan veto

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - VANESSA MARSH

PREMIER An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk is yet to pick up the phone and speak to Adani bosses nine days after her bomb­shell de­ci­son to veto a $1 bil­lion loan.

The In­dian mining con­glom­er­ate has gone silent on whether its Carmichael coal mine project will con­tinue re­gard­less of State Gov­ern­ment sup­port.

The Premier told The Sun­day Mail she still supported the mine it­self de­spite an­nounc­ing on Novem­ber 3 she would veto the $1 bil­lion North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fund loan for the con­struc­tion of a rail line cru­cial to the project.

“The Palaszczuk Gov­ern- ment has worked with the pro­po­nent to pro­vide all the ap­provals it needs, with strin­gent con­di­tions, for the project to progress,” she said.

“Adani ac­knowl­edged this when they an­nounced it had the ‘green light’ on June 6.”

Ms Palaszczuk (pic­tured) cited a con­flict of in­ter­est cre­ated by her part­ner Shaun Drab­sch work­ing on Adani’s loan ap­pli­ca­tion. She later said it had been La­bor’s pol­icy since 2015 not to fund the mine with tax­payer money.

The Premier said she had not spo­ken to Adani of­fi­cials since mak­ing the bomb­shell an­nounce­ment.

Sen­a­tor Matt Cana­van said he had spo­ken to Adani rep­re­sen­ta­tives but would not re­veal w what was said about the fu­ture of the rail line and mine.

“They are shocked as you can ex­pect … but I’m not go­ing t to go into what was said in a pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion with a pri­vate party,” he said.

“Un­til last week the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment had con­sis­tently told them (Adani) they supported the NAIF process – in­deed they ac­tively en­cour­aged them to ap­ply.

“In gen­eral terms gov­ern­ments chop­ping and chang­ing po­si­tions like this is not the way to create jobs and op­por­tu­nity in this state.”

Mr Cana­van said his gov­ern­ment was in sup­port of the project which will open up fur­ther in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We mas­sively sup­port open­ing up the Galilee Basin and it’s not about Adani – it’s a tool through which we can open up a new coal basin,” Mr Cana­van said.

State Op­po­si­tion Leader Tim Ni­cholls said if elected, his gov­ern­ment “will not block any loan from the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment that sup­ports job-creat­ing projects in Queens­land”.

“Queens­lan­ders, es­pe­cially young Queens­lan­ders, in re­gional ar­eas are in des­per­ate need of se­cure, long-term jobs – the Carmichael mine will pro­vide those jobs,” he said.

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