Adani loan: "Just a campaign storm in an election teacup"

Bowen's candidate for the seat of Burdekin, Mike Brunker at the Abbot Point coal terminal.
Bowen's candidate for the seat of Burdekin, Mike Brunker at the Abbot Point coal terminal.

SINCE Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk sensationally announced she would veto federal funding for a rail line connecting Abbot Point and the proposed Carmichael Mine, the ALP candidate for the seat of Burdekin has told Adani to just "get on with (the mine) anyway".

Mike Bunker cited in a statement today the multiple times the Indian mining company has stated it does not need the controversial $1 billion National Australia Infrastructure Facility loan from the Federal Government to build the rail line.

The rail line is critical to export the coal coming out of the Bowen Basin mine.

The pledge to veto the Federal Government loan came after Ms Palaszczuk revealed her partner Shaun Drabsch worked on Adani's application for the loan under the Commonwealth's Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund while advising for PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Mr Brunker, a former coal worker and union boss, offered stronger support for the mine.

He said the people of Bowen strongly supported the mine.

"So all this talk about the NAIF loan is just a campaign storm in an election teacup," he said.

"We have heard in recent weeks from Adani management that the federal NAIF loan is not required by them to get this project off the ground, so I'm calling on them to get it moving and get hiring."

The Palaszczuk Labor Government said it has had no role to date in the Federal Government's NAIF loan assessment process for Adani to date.

"And now, we will have no further role," a statement said. 

Any veto of the loan will need bipartisan support from Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls because the government is now in caretaker mode. 

Mr Nicholls has said he will not support a veto. 

"I know nothing of the work of her partner. I have met him at a number of functions, he seems like a nice bloke and deserves to earn a living just like all Queenslanders," he said in a statement on Friday. 

"If, as the Premier claims, all necessary conflict of interest measures are correct and above board, why has she put thousands of jobs at risk with this extraordinary backflip?" 

Topics:  abbot point coal terminal adani adani carmichael coal mine editors picks mike brunker national australia infrastructure facility

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