Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole has called for the State Government to stop playing games with North Queensland jobs regarding the controversial Carmichael project.
Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole has called for the State Government to stop playing games with North Queensland jobs regarding the controversial Carmichael project.

‘Stop playing games with North Queensland jobs’

HERBERT MP Cathy O'Toole has demanded the State Government to "stop playing games" with North Queensland jobs after yet another setback for Adani's Carmichael project.

The Labor MP arced up against her State colleagues again slamming them for "shifting the goalposts".

It comes after the Department of Environment and Science confirmed it had rejected Adani's Black-Throated Finch Management Plan, laying out a series of new conditions for the mining giant that includes demands people conducting field work for the finch have certain university qualifications.

"I have said it many times, we in the North should not be left out in the cold, for the interest of the southeast corner," Ms O'Toole said.

"I think there are processes in place and issues that need to be addressed and that needs to happen but for God's sake get it done.

"Processes must be followed, I don't have a problem with that. What I have a problem with is that if it appears every minute of the day that a goalpost is being moved it's unfair to business, it's unfair to workers and it's unfair to our community."

Adani's project has been a thorn in the side of the incumbent MP, who is seeking re-election in the ultra-marginal seat of Herbert which she holds by just 37 votes.

Townsville Enterprise chairman Kevin Gill said the setback was another "kick in the guts" for the region looking for future employment.

"As we had feared, there is a lack of confidence now in the process of approvals and the perception of a tainted change of goalpost that doesn't appear to have been applied to other mines," he said.

"Is this really about black-throated finches or is this about no coal from the Galilee?"

Burdekin MP and opposition North Queensland spokesman Dale Last blasted the State Government for "blatant political interference".

"Let's not forget that Adani has worked with the Department of Environment and Science for 18 months to fine tune that plan," he said.

"Lo and behold the government has now decided it wants to go back to the drawing board. This is a delaying tactic … Queenslanders should see this for what it is, blatant political interference."

A State Government spokesman said any political interference in the process being undertaken by the independent assessor would be inappropriate.



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