A national resource and energy industry employer group is pleading with State Government to support an Asia-backed $22 billion coal project in Central Queensland.
The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) is asking the Queensland Government to stop postponing India-heaquartered Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project and instead stand-up for the industry, which employs at least 20,000 locals and pays $3.8 million in annual royalties.
The request came following the state government’s move to appoint an “anti-coal” organisation to “independently” review environmental management plans India-heaquartered Adani submitted for the project.
“AMMA is very concerned at this latest development, which appears to undermine typical government processes by outsourcing its environmental review responsibilities to an anti-coal activist group,” AMMA acting chief executive Tara Diamond said in a public statement.
“Queenslanders deserve a state government, which supports its major job-creating industries, not one more interested in appeasing minority activist views and chasing inner city votes at the expense of the regions.”
Diamond defended the project’s environmental merits, urging Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuki to reconsider her decision to appoint the Threatened Species Recovery Hub to conduct the review.
“Adani has repeatedly demonstrated strong compliance with all its environmental management requirements,” Diamond said. “Not only has it cleared hundreds of regulatory hurdles, it has also contended with vexatious ‘lawfare’ from a number of disruptive anti-industry groups, which it has an 11-0 record defending.”
She believes major coal employers like Adani need certainty and stability from government.
“This most recent appeasement of minority anti-industry voices sets a disturbing precedent and will be rightly viewed as another unnecessary obstacle for the investment and business community,” she said.
“Projects such as Adani’s must be better recognised for the jobs and prosperity they will bring to the state, including long-term royalty generation that funds schools, hospitals and roads.”
If the project is approved, it is promised to create up to 10,000 jobs.