Libs MP silent on support for Adani mine

INNER city Brisbane Liberal Trevor Evans has broken ranks with the Liberal National Party over the controversial Adani mine and is refusing to tell voters whether he supports the project.

In comments that contradict the LNP's pro-coal push, Mr Evans said the mine's future would not hinge on which party won the federal election because the State Government would ultimately approve or block it.

"There are some people out there that are implying that the next federal election will determine the future of that project but in fact it is likely that its approvals will all be given or not given by the State Government," Mr Evans told The Courier-Mail.

"I push back against people trying to say are you personally in favour or against it because that buys into that flawed narrative that my election or non-election will make any difference in that mine proceeding or not."

Mr Evans' comments are a sign the divisive Adani project is causing trouble for the Liberals in Mr Evans' city seat in the same way it is turning voters against the Coalition in seats in Melbourne and Sydney.

Climate change is one of the most prominent issues raised by voters in the seat, which Mr Evans holds with a relatively healthy 6.1 per cent margin.

Mr Evans said environmental concerns were being "cynically" conflated with Adani by some other candidates.

"I am worried about people using that project in terms of symbolism when the future of that project will be determined by the State Government," he said.

In regional Queensland, where an anti-Adani protest will be met by an opposing pro-Adani group, LNP MPs have based their campaigns around warnings that Labor would stop the mine.


Resources Minister Matt Canavan this week accused Labor leader Bill Shorten of using "weasel words" and refusing to declare his position on the mine.

The LNP has funded a billboard in Rockhampton with a cropped photo of Mr Shorten holding a stop Adani sign, which was taken when he was trying to remove the sign from the hands of a protester at the ALP conference last year.

Mr Shorten has said he would not review existing environmental approvals but his climate change spokesman Mark Butler has not ruled out doing this.

Mr Evans said voters raised environmental issues ranging from local to national problems, including the proposed Carmichael mine.

He said he never expressed a personal view on the mine and instead argued that he wants "the very strongest environmental protections" in Australia without harming economic growth.