No probe into Adani coal plans

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

THE State Gov­ern­ment has re­jected calls for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the han­dling of Adani’s $ 16 bil­lion Carmichael coal pro­ject, say­ing the crit­i­cisms re­late to the LNP regime.

The North Queens­land Con­ser­va­tion Coun­cil called for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion yesterday af­ter re­leas­ing doc­u­ments, ob­tained via Right to In­for­ma­tion laws, show­ing the Depart­ment of State De­vel­op­ment was work­ing to in­ject up to $ 500 mil­lion of tax­payer money into the pro­ject de­spite con­cerns about its vi­a­bil­ity.

A spokesman for State De­vel­op­ment, Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Mines Min­is­ter An­thony Lyn­ham said the is­sues re­lated to the for­mer New­man gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach.

“They do not re­flect the views of the cur­rent Gov­ern­ment,” the spokesman said.

“The Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment wel­comes Adani’s sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in Queens­land in the Carmichael coal pro­ject but as this is a pri­vate sec­tor pro­ject it re­mains for Adani to demon­strate the fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of its pro­ject,” he said.

The spokesman said the Gov­ern­ment would meet all its elec­tion com­mit­ments in terms of or­gan­is­ing a dredg­ing pro­ject at Ab­bot Point and not mak­ing di­rect Gov­ern­ment con­tri­bu­tions to­wards fund­ing the pro­ject’s rail­way line.

NQCC spokesman Jeremy Tager said the Gov­ern­ment must heed the warn­ings about Adani’s fi­nances and probe why the Depart­ment of State De­vel­op­ment had been so will­ing to risk public fund­ing.

“It ap­pears the Depart­ment of State De­vel­op­ment went rogue, ig­nored Trea­sury’s calls for proper due dili­gence and ac­tively ex­cluded Trea­sury and Prime Min­is­ter and Cab­i­net from crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, while ar­rang­ing for taxpayers’ money to be in­vested in Adani projects,” Mr Tager said.

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