Treasury officials supposedly banned from meetings between Adani and the Department of State Development
As the proposed Adani Carmichael mine development in the Queensland Galilee Basin takes another kick in the ‘gonads’, more news has surfaced about how senior Queensland politicians were kept in the dark over conversations with Adani.
Thousands of Queenslanders wait in anticipation to hear the news that Adani’s proposed thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin will go ahead. For over 5 years, the project has made progress at a snails pace. The reason for this is the size of the mine and the impact on the environment the mine may have. As the project gained momentum, more and more activists and stalwarts came out of the closet, challenging Adani in the highest court of the land.
At this stage of the mine’s development, July 2015, a recent announcement from Mr. Adani himself suggests, all work currently being carried out was to stop immediately. No one is certain what this means for the project.
Have Adani ‘pulled the pin?
Is it just Adani’s way of sending a message to the Australian and Queensland government because they have been messed about too much? Or have Adani ‘pulled the pin’ – leaving the state of Queensland with a negative tax and royalty revenue in the negative billions of dollars.
The recent news on the ABC website points to new revelations that the Queensland Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet were kept out of important government decisions regarding the $16 billion Adani Carmichael mine development.
The ABC got its hands on some documents that show senior Treasury bureaucrats were precluded from a high-level meetings between Adani and the Department of State Development. These documents outlined the Adani negotiations and reveal confusion and suspicion among Queensland bureaucrats relating to the decision-making process. These documents clearly state that the head of Treasury saying: “I would prefer to keep at arm’s length at present, and not get trapped into a set-up”.
A set up?
The set-up was not from Adani, but from the Department of State Development under then deputy premier Jeff Seeney.
Mr Seeney’s department was handling all negotiations with Adani which led to draft agreements that were signed without Department of Premier and Cabinet and Treasury consultation.
Way back in November 2014, the Department of State Development and Adani signed a series of agreements. One of which was that the Queensland Government was prepared to ‘tip in’ $455 million of taxpayers’ money, with critics arguing there was no guarantee that Adani would repay it.
It seems the negation of the Treasury and Department of Treasury and Cabinet was something out of the ordinary. We have to wonder what the intent was here? Treasury officials noted in an email that in their opinion they knew they were being intentionally left out of the loop. In any development of this magnitude, involving billions of dollars, the Queensland Treasury would handle the due diligence and checking that this was a viable decision.
Department of State Development went rogue
North Queensland Conservation Council’s Jeremy Tager said, “It appears the Department of State Development went rogue on this particular project and they didn’t want to consult with Treasury, they didn’t want to consult with Premier and Cabinet. They didn’t want advice”.
The Adani Carmichael mine development has been one of the most intriguing in recent history. The benefits to the state of Queensland are immense. Thousands of full-time mining jobs will be created for many years to come, although the down side of the mine is that it could impact on the barrier reef as well as threaten water supplies and wildlife in the Galilee Basin.
Australian coal will help life millions of Indian’s out of poverty
With each mining project comes the decision whether to proceed and bring prosperity to the state at the expense of the environment, or simply scrap the project altogether. Which ever side you are on, Adani, being an Indian company have vested interests in supplying the country with coal to help life millions out of poverty.
The Indian government have to make decisions on where the coal will come from. If it’s not Australia, then other nations like Indonesia will be happy to pick up the contracts. India has many coal mines, although the coal quality is poor and ash components high, creating a recipe for even greater pollution across the entire country.
Billions of dollars already allocated to Carmichael mine development in Australia
With coal prices at an all-time low and world demand for thermal coal on the increase for many years to come, what is to be done? Adani has spent billions on planning and preliminary developments in Queensland. Contracts have been awarded to international company POSCO to build the 300+ kilometre rail link from the Galilee Basin to Abbot point near Bowen in Queensland and local mining contractor Downer EDI to construct and run the mine.
Adani awards Komatsu contract for 55 dump trucks
More recently Komatsu was awarded the contract to supply 55 haul trucks that will be used exclusively on the Carmichael mine, plus many more smaller contracts awarded, with work having already been carried out.
No one knows for sure what the next developments will be, although when they do happen, iMINCO will be updating almost 20,000+ readers of the iMINCO Project News.
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