Queensland’s top bureaucrat has admitted the ruling party made a mistake on assessing a $21 billion mining project in Central Queensland, and wants to make up for it.
State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured centre) apologised for taking eight years to approve Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project in the Galilee Basin and promised to simplify the assessment process.
“I’m really sorry that Labor let you down, I am sorry that happened but I’m not going to let Queensland down,” Palaszczuk told reporters at Hay Point Coal Terminal in Mackay. “I think that the community is fed up with the processes, I know I am fed up with the processes, my local members are fed up with the processes.”
The premier hopes to provide some certainty on the project by arranging a meeting on May 23 between Queensland Coordinator General Barry Broe, the independent regulator and proponent to handle the last two approvals needed before construction can begin.
She hopes the meeting will provide a timeframe for the project’s final approval as early as May 24. The move came after the Australian Labor Party suffered major losses in the May 18 federal election and was blamed for not stating the party’s position on the project.
Adani claimed it had been trying to find clarity on the State Government’s approval process for “more than seven months.”
“The Queensland Labor Government has been reviewing these management plans for over two years now,” Adani CEO Lucas Dow said in a public statement. “We have been put through the highest level of scrutiny on these plans, and overcome every hurdle along the way and these plans have been approved at the federal level already.”
Dow looks forward to meeting with Broe as soon as possible.
“We can meet first thing tomorrow morning, and at that meeting I will be seeking the timeline for approving the two outstanding management plans come to a conclusion within the next two weeks,” he said. “It’s time for the Queensland Labor Government to stop the political games. Stop shifting the goal posts and let us get on with delivering these jobs for regional Queenslanders. It is time to get the Carmichael Project done.”