Documents identified in a Right to Information (RTI) request to the Queensland Treasury Corporation make clear that the Queensland ALP Government is doing everything it can to provide taxpayer funds to the Adani Corporation’s mine, rail and port developments while pretending to the public that it is keeping its election promises to do no such thing, spokesman for North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC) Jeremy Tager said today.
“The ALP won the Queensland election in part on the back of a promise to protect the Reef and not use taxpayer funds for any of the Adani projects.
“But the list of documents, most of which the Government is refusing to make public, shows the Government actively considering financing the rail line. It shows departmental staff also undertook a credit assessment of Adani, almost certainly as part of the proposal for the public funding of Adani.
“In April 2015, following numerous meetings between Adani and the highest levels of the Queensland Government, a submission that included a proposed agreement with Adani went to Cabinet.
“Amongst the documents is a ‘credit structure diagram’ produced by the Queensland Treasury Corporation, which presumably outlines how much money would be given to Adani. As documents previously obtained have shown, there is almost nothing the Queensland Government can hold as security if they want Adani to repay the public purse.
“The refusal to release these documents in full continues a trend that began under the Newman Government. There were numerous meetings, numerous documents prepared to help out Adani and we’re being told the public has no right to see them.
“This stinks of the same kind of corporate capture that we saw under the previous government”, Mr Tager said. “It is clear that the government is looking at putting taxpayers’ money into this multinational corporation while looking for a way to claim that they are meeting their election promises as well. We know they have gone to the Commonwealth seeking money, possibly from the $5b North Australia Infrastructure Facility, on behalf of Adani – as though money from the Commonwealth isn’t also taxpayer money.
Meanwhile, rival coal mining giant Glencore’s Peter FreyBerg is singularly unimpressed with the idea that government funds would be used to fund a rail line needed by Adani, He recently told a Newcastle audience that, given the ongoing over-supply of coal, “Bringing on additional tonnes with the aid of taxpayers’ money would materially increase the risk to existing coal operations”. This is a message that the Federal government appears to have heard, with Minister Frydenberg yesterday telling ABC radio audiences that “Adani needs to stand on it own two feet” as the Government is “not looking to crowd out the private sector”.
“The Premier needs to stop the secrecy, put the documents in the public domain and have an open discussion about whether this loser of a project deserves a single cent of public money”, Mr Tager said.