Adani rail, $21b coal mine faces new hurdle
Adani may have no choice but to axe its plans in the Galilee Basin after the State Government announced it would not facilitate federal concessional loans for a vital rail link.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said on Saturday that Cabinet would play no role in funding Adani via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
The move could be disastrous for Adani's Carmichael coal mine plans, with NAIF policy stating state governments must act as intermediaries for concessional loans.
Adani intends to use a $900 million NAIF loan to help fund a rail line from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point.
Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan has written to the Premier seeking urgent clarification on the Government's position, which she insisted was in keeping with an election commitment not to help fund the Adani coal mine.
But the Government acknowledged just last year that it would have to apply for NAIF funding on behalf of Adani.
In a letter dated February 18, 2016, Treasurer Curtis Pitt told then Minister for Northern Australia Josh Frydenburg that he was aware the Government had to act as a conduit.
The letter also lists the Galilee Basin Rail and Port Developments as NAIF candidates.
Mr Pitt also wrote to Senator Canavan on August 18 stating the two governments had to work together on the NAIF.
Senator Canavan said yesterday he would not change NAIF arrangements and insisted it was up to the State Government to come on board.
Senator Canavan said the Government was pandering to its Left faction within Cabinet.
"It's not clear who is running the state at the moment. I'm very concerned about the confusion the Queensland Government is putting on the Adani mine," he said.
"While the Queensland Government's position is unclear, we don't know what background deals they are doing with the Greens to get preferences. They need to come clean about what their position is on Adani."
Last night, a Government spokesman claimed the NAIF could be administered without the state's involvement.
"Any funding from NAIF is a matter for the Federal Government and the proponent and we will not stand in the way of those arrangements," he said.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the Government had put potential jobs at risk.
"On the same day Annastacia Palaszczuk claims to have offered Adani a royalties deal which is no deal, her green-eyed deputy says they now won't support a rail line application critical to the project," he said.
"Yet again Labor's loony Left … is making it clear it never wants to see this mine built and couldn't care less about the jobs it could create.
"Labor is now reneging on the third deal it's offered Adani. How many more times can they renege on deals before the company packs up and goes home along with the jobs it would create."