Adani blames Palaszczuk for stalling jobs
INDIAN mining giant Adani will today letterbox bomb 130,000 households in the state's north to blame the State Government for stalling thousands of jobs, after the coal miner was yesterday granted federal approvals.
The fate of Adani's 6750 direct and 1500 indirect jobs rests with Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor colleagues, dragging Bill Shorten into a political clash on the eve of a federal election.
Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price yesterday ticked off on her department's decision to approve Adani's groundwater management plans. The decision was just days after federal LNP MPs and Senators put on "suicide vests" and warned they would explode if the project was not treated fairly.
Several federal MPs caught wind of a deliberate go-slow, which they believe was advised by their senior Victorian counterparts.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison moved to stop any potential delay and calmed the Queenslanders, pledging all processes would be adhered too.
Ms Price, who was Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's former junior minister, was not planning to approve the groundwater management plan before the election because of perceptions of the impact of Adani in Victorian seats.
On Monday, The Courier-Mail revealed Queensland federal LNP powerbroker James McGrath told Ms Price he would publicly call for her resignation if she treated Adani differently to other projects and stalled Queensland jobs.
Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch yesterday threw shade over the project to allege "political interference".
"I am very concerned that Barnaby Joyce's and (Resource Minster) Matt Canavan's political campaign reeks of political interference, and may have compromised the integrity of the decision-making process,'' Ms Enoch said.
The project cannot start the mine's construction or railway until the State Government approves the project's Black-throated Finch Management Plan and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Management Plan.
There is no time frame that forces the State Government to decide. However, many of federal Labor's Left faction, including Mark Butler, are on the record saying they do not want the mine to go ahead.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad is also from the Left. She has not publicly decried the project but it is widely believed she also does not support the project.
With only the State Government now standing in the way of the project, Adani will today stuff letterboxes from Townsville to Rockhampton with campaign material that demands it "stop moving the goalposts so Adani can start kicking goals for workers and families".
All of those households are in marginal seats and key to Mr Morrison holding the keys to The Lodge.
It comes as Adani Mining chief executive officer Lucas Dow exclusively told The Courier-Mail the Queensland Government had to stop shifting the goalposts.
"Adani Mining has been through these planning and approvals processes for more than
eight years now,'' Mr Dow said.
"We have been subject to nine legal challenges, all of which we have successfully won.
Regional Queenslanders know what Adani's coal mine will do for them.
"Now all that is needed is for the Queensland Government to recognise this contribution,
much like they did when they first went to India seeking out Adani's investment in the
"The proposed Carmichael mine has been the most scrutinised mining project in years
and, despite the hysteria and campaigns by activists to shut us down, we have proved we
are serious about meeting the expectations of the Australian people."
Mr Morrison yesterday said Mr Shorten needed to come clean about his view of the project.
"I note that Mr Shorten is happy to say while he is up in Central Queensland today that he is
happy to abide also by the advice of the scientists (but) … I wait to see whether he says at the same thing down in Victoria or elsewhere in the country."
Asked if he would seek to review this decision if he won government, Mr Shorten in Gladstone said yesterday: "We've got to see what the Queensland Government does.
"And secondly, we will just adhere to the law. We're not interested in sovereign risk.
"Plenty of people have got plenty of opinions on the project. We'll just be guided by the law and by the science."
Greens Senator Larissa Waters called on the Labor Party to "get off the fence".
"Bill Shorten needs to come out and finally take a position and tell people before the election," Senator Waters said.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the only person now standing in the way of the mine was Ms Palaszczuk.
"This project just needs a fair go … because we need more jobs for Queensland," she said.
"This project has been eight years in the making and now it is time to take the shackles off."