Newman's splurge on Adani mine outrages Clermont

Newman's splurge on Adani mine outrages Clermont


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John Burnett, Bendemeer, Clermont, is incensed that the state government has "money to back a foreign conglomerate with plans for an international airport, and fly-in, fly-out workforce at the expense of Queenslanders".

John Burnett, Bendemeer, Clermont, is incensed that the state government has "money to back a foreign conglomerate with plans for an international airport, and fly-in, fly-out workforce at the expense of Queenslanders".

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CLERMONT district beef producers have been left reeling at the Newman government's decision to bankroll infrastructure needed to transport coal from Indian-owned Carmichael mine to Abbot Point.

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CLERMONT district beef producers have been left reeling at the Newman government's decision to bankroll infrastructure needed to transport coal from Indian-owned Carmichael mine to Abbot Point.

Premier Campbell Newman announced on Monday that the state government would sign an agreement with Indian mine company Adani to build rail and port infrastructure to support the $16.5 billion project.

Mr Newman said the project was jobs generating for the region and Adani would be expected to foot most of the bill.

Adani has signed a memorandum of understanding for a loan up to A$1.16b from the State Bank of India for the Carmichael mine, which it aims to build by the end of 2017.

District landholders fear major disruptions to their operations from the rail line, which they say will bisect properties, interrupt cattle movements, alter surface water flow and reduce access to land.

Clermont beef producer John Burnett, Bendemeer, said he was disgusted by the government's decision. "This is not Newman or Seeney money that they are prepared to risk, it is the Queensland taxpayers' money," he said.

"It is a suicide mission they have embarked on."

Mr Burnett, who is a member of the anti-mine group Corridor to Coast, said Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney had told local landholders early in the project that the government could not afford to fund the feasibility study to find the best place to put the Carmichael railway line.

"But now they have to money to back a foreign conglomerate with plans for an international airport, and fly-in, fly-out workforce at the expense of Queenslanders," he said.

Fellow cattleman Dale Appleton, Albinia, Clermont, said he was amazed at the government's apparent backflip on funding arrangements.

"The Isaac Regional Council has 25 operating coalmines, with a further two under construction, and 27 in advanced development phase," Mr Appleton said.

"The industry produces 47 per cent of Queensland's total saleable coal and generates $1.1b in royalty payments per year.

"We would like to see some of the royalties come back to the region and spent on improving our road infrastructure.

"It is now critical that the road from Clermont to Alpha is improved and sealed with bitumen."

The mine and rail project has received both state and federal environmental approval and will be subject to 226 environmental conditions. Mr Seeney said the announcement confirmed the government's commitment to building a stronger future for Queensland.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said she welcomed the Carmichael project and looked forward to the employment opportunities it would create in the region.

"However, I encourage Adani to work with our landholders to minimise and mitigate potential impacts on their livelihoods, the environment, and our agricultural industry," she said.

"Agriculture is an important part of our economy and contributes over $97 million annually through the reliable production of good quality beef and grain."

The Adani Carmichael project is expected to inject $500m into the Queensland economy during construction, and $3b at full capacity.

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