Acting Prime Minister slams legal office fighting Adani

State deputy opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan.
State deputy opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan. Emily Smith

THE legal office fighting against Adani's Carmichael coal mine must believe "it's morally right that people are poor", Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce believes.

During a trip to Mackay this morning Mr Joyce welcomed an agreement that will see Adani take full control of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

But he believed the State Government wouldn't share his excitement, as it continued to provide finance to the Environmental Defenders Office, which handled much of the legal action against the project.

"(The EDO are) basically trying to stop development in Central Queensland because they think it's morally right that people are poor," Mr Joyce said.

"We believe that it's morally right that you give people the chance for economic advancement."

Deputy state opposition leader Deb Frecklington joined Mr Joyce at the Mackay Canegrowers office this morning, along with Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan and Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen.

As part of the Carmichael mining lease approvals in April, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said there would be no dredging at Abbot Point "until Adani demonstrates financial closure".

But Ms Frecklington said this could lead to a "chicken and egg" situation, as she believed it would be difficult for Adani to secure financial backing without the approval.

"How can this organisation go to it's financial backers and get any money without knowing where they're heading in the future? The state government in particular need to get out of the way of this project," she said.

"In relation to the conditions, we need to see this current Labor government start approving the secondary approvals."

The politicians also took the chance to question why state government had not yet implemented a schedule for 14 dam feasibility studies, that federal government had put $20m towards.

The Urannah Dam secured $3m of this funding.

As water supply is state government managed the funding had to be funnelled through state government first.

"They are refusing to work with the federal government and refusing to do anything," Ms Frecklington said.

The state government and the Environmental Defenders Office have been contacted for comment.

Topics:  adani, adani carmicheal mine project, barnaby joyce

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