Leaked Premier’s letter has Adani boss seeing red

 

MINING giant Adani has lashed out at the 'farcical' State Government for interfering with approvals processes after a letter was leaked from the Premier's office.

It comes days after the Carmichael project's groundwater management plan was approved by the Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price at the eleventh hour.

In an email sent to Adani chief executive Lucas Dow, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged him to lodge outstanding approvals for the mine's rail corridor, designed to take coal from the site to Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

"I am advised there are other outstanding approvals, including for the rail corridor and land use. I understand the new rail design you announced last year has yet to be completed, as is a detailed hydrological study for the rail corridor," Ms Palaszczuk wrote, in the letter sent to Adani on April 9, after Federal approvals were granted.

"Further, I am advised that a lease application for 37 kilometres of the prospective rail corridor, including a work program with evidence of commitment to starting construction, is yet to be lodged."

The letter was leaked to the ABC today, while the Premier is overseas.

Adani seized on the Premier's comments as "farcical" and a sign the State Government was interfering in the approvals processes of the mine.

"We have repeatedly stated what is required to get started on construction of the mine, which is sign-off on the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan and the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan," Mr Dow said.

 

Lucas Dow outside the Adani billboard in George St, Brisbane. (AAP image, John Gass)
Lucas Dow outside the Adani billboard in George St, Brisbane. (AAP image, John Gass)

 

"Other management plans and approvals processes can come later, in line with standard processes for getting a mine and rail project up and running.

"It's time for the Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier to come clean and stop the delaying and political tactics."

Mr Dow said the company has only ever asked for a "fair go" and criticised the State Government for refusing to provide certainty of process and timing.

"The Black-Throated Finch Management Plan has been sitting with the Queensland Government for more than 18 months, with seven versions having been provided all of which have incorporated State Department feedback and input," he said.

"This plan has also been subject to an eleventh hour, so called "independent" review led by an individual who heads up an organisation whose members have publicly stated anti-mining, anti-coal agendas.

"The Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Management Plan has been under review by the Queensland Government for more than two years now and they are currently looking at the 11th version.

"To suggest they are being pushed into a decision without enough time for review is just another political ploy and distraction to avoid making a decision."

The Premier's letter, seen by the Townsville Bulletin, stated 46 project approvals have been granted for the Carmichael mine since 2015 and 55 key approval milestones reached.

"The Queensland Government recognises the potential regional and employment benefits of Adani's Carmichael Mine Project, however, it must meet the conditions of its environmental authority," Ms Palaszczuk wrote.