CALL TO DUMP QAL DI­REC­TOR

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii.cameron@news.com.au

TOWNSVILLE En­ter­prise’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer has called for Jonathan van Rooyen to be re­moved from the Queens­land Air­port Lim­ited’s board, say­ing his south­ern in­ter­ests con­flict with the needs of the North.

Mr van Rooyen has ar­gued against the Adani coal mine, claim­ing it would “can­ni­balise” the ex­ports mar­ket, as Townsville con­tin­ues its fight to be­come the fly- in fly- out hub. QAL owns Townsville Air­port.

TEL’s CEO Pa­tri­cia O’Cal­laghan said Mr van Rooyen had backed him­self into a cor- ner with “di­vi­sive, anti- North Queens­land com­ments”.

“Given he can’t and won’t ac­cept logic, the QAL chair should send him a clear mes­sage that you can­not serve two masters and re­move him from the board,” she said.

“His com­ments are ridicu­lous and show that he has an agenda to sup­port south­ern in­ter­ests that are in di­rect con­flict with his role on the boards that make big de­ci­sions about in­vest­ment in the North.

“We won’t step back from push­ing for projects like Adani that cre­ate jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties.”

The Bul­letin re­ported last month that Mr van Rooyen be­lieved it was “fac­tu­ally wrong” for Adani to sug­gest that its coal would only be sold back to In­dia. Mr van Rooyen is also gen­eral man­ager of in­vest­ments at The In­fra­struc­ture Fund, ( TIF) which lists QAL and the Port of New­cas­tle among its as­sets.

“TIF wants to see North Queens­land thrive but we don’t think that growth should come at the ex­pense of south­ern Queens­land and New South Wales,” he said.

“No­body de­nies that a big in­crease in coal ex­ports from Queens­land would re­sult in a big re­duc­tion in coal pro­duc­tion in the Bowen Basin, the Su­rat Basin and in the Hunter Val­ley.”

Mr van Rooyen said every­one wanted to see North Queens­land’s eco­nomic ex­pan­sion.

“... But not be­cause other parts of Aus­tralia are be­ing held back,” he said. “The In­fra­struc­ture Fund has a ma­jor stake in the devel­op­ment of North Queens­land.

“Re­cent claims by an Adani spokesman that Adani would not can­ni­balise the ex­port mar­kets of the Bowen, Su­rat and Hunter coal mines is as con­fused as it is con­tra­dic­tory.

“On April 24 2015, in the Queens­land Land Court, Adani Min­ing Pro­pri­etary Lim­ited’s Mr Ra­jesh Ku­mar Gupta, who re­ports di­rectly to the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, con­firmed un­der oath that less than half of Adani’s Carmichael coal would go to In­dia and not all of that would go to Adani power sta­tions.”

Mayor Jenny Hill said it seemed Mr van Rooyen was sup­port­ing New­cas­tle over Townsville.

“I’ve got some­one who man­ages an in­fra­struc­ture fund with ma­jor in­vest­ments in New­cas­tle coal try­ing to tell us that we can’t grow our in­dus­try,” she said.

“One would ques­tion which mas­ter does he truly serve — QAL or New­cas­tle Port?”

Pa­tri­cia O'Cal­laghan.

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