Adani hits out at delays by the State Government
ADANI has lashed out at the State Government, accusing them off blocking the delivery of 750 jobs for Rockhampton by stalling on approvals for its Carmichael coal mine.
This week, the mining group upped the ante by moving the first earthworks equipment to the Galilee Basin site, with construction ready to go.
Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow called on the State Government to provide certainty on when the mine would have its outstanding management plans finalised so construction could commence.
"The best Christmas present Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Jackie Trad could give struggling regional communities is certainty that they will not stand in the way of these jobs,” Mr Dow said.
"Queensland has Australia's highest unemployment rate. People in places like Townsville and Rockhampton are lining up to get these jobs.
"Throughout the last eight years we have met all of the Queensland Government's criteria, but now we're seeing the goal posts moved again.
"We have repeatedly said that we do not require State or Federal funding, we have met all of the stringent environmental conditions put in place by the State and we now have the funding in place to start delivering on jobs for people in central and northern Queensland.
"Signing off our remaining plans should be a standard process, which the government has completed for scores of other mines and the coal seam gas industry.
"All we ask is that we be treated in the same way as those other companies, and that the process is fair and consistent.
"We are particularly concerned that ultimately the State Government is standing in the way of jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said.
"Rockhampton and Townsville are the key areas, we have been advertising and our contractors have already started their recruitment databases in those areas as well.”
Minister for Environment, Leeanne Enoch, denied the State Government was stalling.
"The Palaszczuk Government's position has always been clear that the project needs to stack up environmentally. I made that clear again when I met with Adani representatives this afternoon,” she said.
"We take environmental protections very seriously and we are ensuring all of the assessments for this project, undertaken by the Department of Environment and Science as the regulator, are conducted based on the best available science.
"There are still environmental plans that need to be approved before significant disturbance can commence at the Carmichael mine, including the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan (GDEMP) and Black Throated Finch Management Plan (BTFMP).
"Environmental approvals are necessary for all major projects.
"These decisions are made free of political interference - that's how we protect the integrity of our environmental laws.”
According to the Department of Environment and Science, there is no statutory timeframe for the department to assess and approve the BTFMP and GDEMP.
Lock the Gate Alliance's spokesperson Carmel Flint described Adani's decision to move machinery to its Carmichael mine site as a PR stunt, with several significant environmental approvals and court challenges outstanding.
"This is an arrogant attempt by Adani to bully the Queensland Government and ram through these management plans,” she said.
"The Queensland Government needs to stand firm and let its decision be determined by the best available science, not Adani's bullying tactics.”
Mr Dow said the decision to move equipment to the Carmichel site was not a stunt.
"The simple fact is we have got work that we are required and need to do on the rail corridor and we can commence that under the early works,” he said.
"On top of that, once we get the approvals we will be in a position to start work on the mines.
"So if there is work we can and need to do on the rail right now and we have got approvals for and it also means we are perfectly positioned to start on the mine the moment we receive the approvals.
"It is absolutely not a publicity stunt because that equipment is costing us money.
"What we are about is delivering on our commitment in relation to regional jobs in Queensland.”
Mr Dow said there were no legal environmental challenges in relation to the approvals or Adani getting underway on the mine site.
"It's simply around having these final management plans approved and effectively the State getting behind us and supporting the delivery of the jobs in Northern and Central Queensland,” he said.