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Industry fears Queensland could be ‘conned’ by $21B mining project

CFMEU industrial action
CFMEU industrial action

An industry body is concerned the Queensland Government’s decision to fast-track approval for a $21 billion mine could put local jobs at risk.

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) does not want the Sunshine State to be “taken for a ride by a shonky multinational with a chequered corporate history” by rushing final approval of Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project.

“Our concern is that the promise of jobs and prosperity that was such a touchstone in the federal election is a myth; a fiction designed to hoodwink people into thinking Adani will be a good corporate citizen,” CFMEU construction and general division state secretary Michael Ravbar said in a public statement. “[State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk] must extract iron clad guarantees from Adani that the mine will bring long term, permanent jobs for Queenslanders, and also procure the maximum possible amount of goods and services from local communities.”

Ravbar believes the coal and 12.5 billion litres of water that Adani plans to remove actually belongs to Queenslanders and fears the local economy will miss out if the proponent does not guarantee local recruitment and procurement.

“Adani will ship in its construction workforce in from India under so-called free trade provisions while Australian engineers, construction workers and local suppliers miss out,” he said. “Then when the mine is operational it will be largely automated, with robots and remote controlled machinery – perhaps with a handful of labour hire workers on insecure, casual agreements – shipping our coal offshore with little or no benefit to local communities or the wider Queensland economy.”

“Without enforceable guarantees on secure local jobs and procurement – along with sureties relating to water security – the premier risks being conned by corporate carpet baggers,” he added.

The State Government is expected to be announce a timeline for a final decision on the project before the end of the week.

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