Pitt says we can survive mine fail
TREASURER Curtis Pitt has talked down the importance of Adani’s $7.5 billion Carmichael coal mine in his plans to rebuild the state’s economy.
Despite the Palaszczuk Government having repeatedly described the development of the Galilee Basin as “vital to Queensland’s economic future”, Mr Pitt warned against the “dangerous” belief that the Adani megamine would singlehandedly rescue the economy.
While insisting he supported the Adani mine and others in the Galilee – which the Government estimates will together create 9500 jobs from $21.7 billion in investment – Mr Pitt said the state’s economic future did not rely solely on them.
He said Queensland did not have the same dependence on resources as Western Australia – and that jobs growth in coming decades would be disabilities, health and ageing.
“I am a strong advocate for the development of the Galilee,” Mr Pitt said. “And I am going to do everything I can to accelerate that to ensure we can get the benefit of the jobs. But it is not the be-all and end-all.”
State Development and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has described the expansion of the Abbot Point port that would service the Adani Mine as an “essential building block in Queensland’s economic development”.
“The Port of Abbot Point development is vital to Queensland’s economic future,” Mr Lynham said in March.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also said that opening up the Galilee Basin would “foster economic development and jobs creation”.
But Mr Pitt (pictured) said any plan to ensure a strong economic future for Queensland needed to be bigger than a focus on a single project.
He said the basin was a huge resource and if the current proponents failed, then someone else in the future would take their place. “That resource is always going to be one people are going to be looking to exploit and make sure they can make some profits from, and clearly that also helps the Government from royalties,” he said.
Mr Pitt was speaking after unveiling an agreement between the Woorabinda Council, Cockatoo Coal and two BHP Billiton alliances to preserve 547 hectares of threatened brigalow land as well as endangered species.
Mayor Terry Munns said the deal would provide much needed revenue and jobs, and land protection.