Dawson MP George Christensen with Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani. Photo Contributed
Dawson MP George Christensen with Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani. Photo Contributed Contributed

Protests planned over $1b Fed Govt funds for Adani

AN ANTI-MINING group hit out at the possibility the Federal Government will fund about $1 billion of the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project.

The comments come as the State Government announced approval for the final part of the project.

The Coordinator-General has approved an application for the project's rail line into Abbot Point as well as a temporary construction workers' camp.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani will be in North Queensland tomorrow to meet with meet Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham .

Dr Lynham said the latest, and final, secondary approval this week was for about 31.5km of permanent rail line, as well as a temporary construction camp with up to 300 beds.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund has a mandate to offer a concessional loan of up to 50 per cent of the $2 billion project cost for the rail line.

GetUp has warned the government that it will face a summer of protest action as people express their concern with giving a billion dollars of taxpayer money to an offshore coal company for a train line to nowhere.

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) will hold a rally today against Indian company Adani, that wants to build the world's largest new coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Environmental Justice Director Miriam Lyons said that the fact the government was willing to consider such an unpopular move shows that the company has too much influence over government.

"It's bad enough that we are allowing this dangerous project to proceed, let alone paying for it. The vast majority of the profits will go offshore. People are furious.

"Australians overwhelmingly want new investment in renewable energy. They want to see the Reef protected, and they want their taxes spent on things that will actually benefit them, like schools and hospitals.

"This is a train to nowhere. This is a massive waste of taxpayer money. The government is crying poor on hospital spending, but wants to hand over cash to a train that will wreck the Reef, waste farmers' water and will not carry a single passenger.

"Australians waiting on much-needed investment in local public services deserve better than a government that turns the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility into a lucky dip for any company that wants a spare billion to prop up its latest white elephant," Ms Lyons said.

"This is another example of the federal government bending over backwards for offshore coal interests at the expense of everyday Australians who'd rather see the money go to local infrastructure, hospitals and schools.

"Yesterday the government confirmed that it had no plan to save the Reef - or the 69,000 jobs that depend on it - from the impacts of global warming. Now, just months after Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg ruled out Commonwealth investment in the project, we hear that his government may actively subsidise the Reef's destruction.

"Mining and burning this coal will fuel global warming, causing more coral bleaching and threatening tens of thousands of jobs in the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry.

"Adani has destroyed environments in India and Africa. It's been shown to be engaged in corrupt practices. It can't be trusted with our Reef, it can't be trusted with our water, and its rail project certainly can't be trusted with one billion dollars of public money." said Ms Lyons.

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