The Queensland government is considering covering the $100 million cost of road access for Adani coal mine, despite promising that no taxpayers fund would go to the project.
The ABC said documents obtained under a right to information revealed the Palaszczuk government is still in negotiations with Adani and Isaac Regional Council about upgrading access to the proposed Carmichael mine site in central Queensland.
However, the Department of Transport and Main Roads said no decision has been made yet.
In November, Palaszczuk said she would not rule out helping the local council fund the access road. A spokesman for the government said it would cooperate with local councils in regard to their infrastructure needs. “Significant projects can impact on local road networks and improvements to those networks can benefit the greater community,” he said. “Costs associated with major projects are recovered by the state on a commercial basis.”
The ongoing negotiations have received backlash. “Annastacia Palaszczuk has lied to Queenslanders and has broken yet another election promise,” said Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington.
The Mackay Conservation Group said the government must rule out funding the road project. “The Queensland Coordinator General recommended Adani be responsible for road upgrades and Adani said it would pay for the upgrade,” said the group’s spokeswoman Maggie McKeown. “Why then would the premier spend public funds on this project?”