Strelow stays positive on Adani talks
DISCUSSIONS between Rockhampton Regional Council and Indian mining giant Adani over the weekend have mayor Margaret Strelow feeling positive about the $21 billion project set to deliver thousands of jobs to the region.
Cr Strelow said "active conversations” with the company were ongoing after suggestions the project could be halted over the royalties deal with the Queensland Government.
On Friday night, Cabinet agreed the company would pay full royalties for the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.
Although there were reports over the weekend the State Government would not facilitate funding between the Federal Government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Adani, treasurer Curtis Pitt yesterday confirmed Queensland would play middleman.
Cr Strelow welcomed the clarification of the State Government's position, saying she was still excited by where this project could take the region.
"I think the decision about whether NAIF will fund the railway line is still to be made,” she said.
"I'm delighted the State Government has clarified it will play its role in facilitating that.
"This is a job project, this is a mining project, which is about the long term.
"This is not short sugar hits. This is about the jobs that will be jobs for our kids and grandkids.
"I absolutely commend the company for sticking with what isn't an easy project, we understand that.
"They do need to keep every one of those environmental conditions, but they've indicated a willingness to do that and I'm excited by where things sit at the moment and really trusting there will be a positive outcome.”
Cr Strelow said the council was committed to a project she believed was vital for the future of regional Queensland.
Yesterday, concerns were also raised over potential conflicts of interest of two NAIF board members, including Yeppoon's Karla McPhail, who is the CEO of two companies working in the mining industry.
However, Cr Strelow said conflicts of interest happened across all levels of government and those involved would have the common sense to know when to remove themselves from discussions.
"Given so much of northern Queensland is based on mining, it would be a bit difficult to fill a board with people that didn't have any interest in mining,” she said.
"But I am confident there will be processes and that the board will know what to do. It's something that happens at every level of government.”
Adani is yet to make a final decision on whether to accept the royalties proposal agreed upon by the state.