Bill Shorten’s Labor Party is undermining support for jobs in Northern Australia and putting at risk the previously bipartisan agenda to develop the North, with misleading comments about the role of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) in assessing a proposal for the Adani Carmichael project.
“In dismissing the thousands of jobs and the billions of dollars of investment from opening up the Galilee Basin, we know that Labor has its priorities wrong. But when it comes to the railway proposal before the NAIF, Labor also has its facts wrong," Minister Canavan said.
Today on ABC RN Breakfast, Shadow Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Jason Clare said:
There is an argument coming from some other quarters that the Government should in fact build the railway line because it’s going to develop this into a precinct, open access to other mines is what Barnaby Joyce was talking about yesterday, you know cash cow, opening up this whole Galilee Basin precinct?
Well this is new information, because until now what we’ve been told is that Adani wanted an independent rail line from the mine to Abbott Point, a standalone rail line that only they could use.
"That is incorrect. Adani have stressed that the rail line would be open to multiple users,” Minister Canavan said.
"The Queensland Government has for years planned the development of the Galilee Basin so that it only involves two multiple user rail corridors.
"The Federal Government itself has made clear that any finance from the NAIF would need to ensure that multiple users have access to the rail line. I made this clear in several interviews last year, stating ‘we’re only interested in investing in infrastructure which can have a multiple use component’. (see links below)
"Further, the Government's mandate to the NAIF asks them to preference projects that have multiple users.
"If it is news to Jason Clare that the Carmichael rail line will be open access, then he has a limited understanding of the Adani project.
"And if Labor don't bother to understand the Adani project, how can the people of North Queensland trust them to support it and the thousands of jobs it would create?"
The NAIF Investment Mandate is available here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L00654
Full ABC Radio transcripts regarding rail line access are available here: http://www.mattcanavan.com.au/the_country_hour_qld_with_craig_zonca