‘Loan a cam­paign storm in an elec­tion teacup’

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS STATE ELECTION -

IN THE wake of Pre­mier Annastacia Palaszczuk sen­sa­tion­ally an­nounc­ing she would veto fed­eral fund­ing for a rail line con­nect­ing Ab­bot Point and the pro­posed Carmichael Mine, the ALP can­di­date for the seat of Bur­dekin has called on Adani to just “get on with (the mine) any­way”.

Mike Bunker cited in a state­ment re­leased ear­lier this week the mul­ti­ple times the In­dian min­ing com­pany has stated it does not need the con­tro­ver­sial $1 bil­lion Na­tional Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity loan from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to build the rail line.

The rail line is crit­i­cal for the ex­port of coal com­ing out of the Bowen Basin mine.

The pledge to veto the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment loan came after Ms Palaszczuk re­vealed her part­ner Shaun Drab­sch worked on Adani’s ap­pli­ca­tion for the loan un­der the Com­mon­wealth’s North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fund while ad­vis­ing for Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers.

Mr Brunker, a former coal worker and union boss, is a strong sup­porter of the mine and said the peo­ple of Bowen also back the project.

“All this talk about the NAIF loan is just a cam­paign storm in an elec­tion teacup,” he said.

“We have heard in re­cent weeks from Adani man­age­ment that the fed­eral NAIF loan is not re­quired by them to get this project off the ground, so I’m call­ing on them to get it mov­ing and get hir­ing.”

The Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment said it has had no role to date in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s NAIF loan as­sess­ment process for Adani.

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