Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Townsville and Rockhampton councils could pay at least $31 million for Adani coalmine airstrip

Queensland councils to pay at least $31m for Adani coalmine airstrip
Townsville and Rockhampton councils may pay millions more if company’s bid to sew up deal with traditional owners fails, Guardian, 
Joshua Robertson, 20 Oct 17, Two local councils are paying $31m to build an airstrip for Adani’s Queenslandcoalmine – and could fork out millions more if the energy giant’s bid to sew up a deal with traditional owners hits a stumbling block.

Townsville and Rockhampton councils last week announced they would spend $15.5m each on the airport – hundreds of kilometres away – in a deal to secure Adani’s guarantee of 2,200 construction jobs for their residents.

And Townsville has agreed to pay up to $18.5m if the airport is shifted to a second location outside Wangan and Jagalingou land, where Adani’s right to build Australia’s largest coalmine is tied up in a drawn-out legal battle with a traditional owners group.

Rockhampton, which originally put up $20m for the airport in a bid to gain Adani’s guarantee, may also invest up to $18.5m but this has not been made clear.

Despite the Carmichael mine having broad support in both communities, there is some backlash to ratepayers providing infrastructure for a transnational corporation.

 An online petition by a Townsville ratepayers group member, Peter Newey, calling for council to scrap its decision, has garnered about 3,700 signatures in a few days. Cathy O’Toole, the federal MP for Herbert in Townsville, has also flagged local concerns about “giving ratepayers’ money to a multinational”.

Councillors from both cities voted in favour of paying for the airport for Adani’s workforce in closed discussions of confidential reports, recorded in minutes that did not mention the company……….

Rockhampton councillors met on 26 September for a confidential discussion about “economic development opportunities” and an update from council’s general manager of “regional development and aviation”.

The minutes make no mention of Adani but note a confidential report contained information “for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage”.

Councillors unanimously voted for their chief executive to “execute the terms sheets as discussed at the meeting” but did not put a figure on the cost to ratepayers.

Neither the Townsville mayor, Jenny Hill, nor the Rockhampton mayor, Margaret Strelow, responded to a request for comment. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/20/adani-coalmine-queensland-councils-to-pay-at-least-31m-for-airstrip

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October 20, 2017 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland

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