Rockhampton  Mayor Margaret Strelow
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow Allan Reinikka ROK09061616abudge

Mayor wants law changed to stop claims against Adani

COURT cases holding up Adani from commencing construction are hurting thousands of Central Queensland families, according to Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow. 

The hurt is so much that she has gone on a mission to ensure there are no further delays.

"What we need is for other levels of Government to step up to the plate to put an end to this revolving door of court cases and to embrace an opportunity which will see cleaner coal delivered to the up-and-coming powerhouse of India," Cr Strelow said.

She said the major multinational company should not feel the need to beg for support to deliver a world class project at our own back door.

"I will not stand by and watch a sustainable project be delayed further and the jobs my city needs to prosper sit in abeyance," Mayor Strelow said.

"There will be those that criticise me but seeing people in Rockhampton put food on the table is more important than the silly games and stall tactics we are seeing."

Within an hour of the Mayor making these comments, another announcement was made.

Adrian Burragubba has announced he has filed an appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court of Australia, challenging the decision of Justice John Reeves in relation to the Queensland Government's issuing of mining leases for Adani's Carmichael coal mine. Read the full story on Page 14.

"Today's announcement of yet another attempt to delay this project is consistent with activist-driven challenges that are part of a known minority campaign to extend the Federal and State approvals processes in court by years, not days," a spokesperson for Adani said.

"These activist continue to ignore very clear determinations from the Federal Court on these matters even in the past three weeks.

"These noisy, minority challenges fly in the face of the strong support the company's projects have from local communities in North and Central Queensland, the tireless work with landholders and the years of work with local councils, business and resident groups who are keen to realise the benefits of these job-creating projects.

"The recent appeal to the full bench of the Federal court ignores the fact that the Wangan and Jagalingou have this year authorised an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani by a vote of 294-1."

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said everyone was entitled to have their say, but court claims being made to block projects on purpose was not acceptable.

He said the local, state and federal governments needed to work together to ensure appropriate environmental management systems were in place.

"Some of these groups can hold up projects unnecessarily," Cr Ludwig said.

"Don't block it for the sake of blocking it."

Meanwhile, Mayor Strelow is calling on the State and Federal Governments to take a position that will support the future of Adani.

"At every opportunity I have, I am engaging with our state and federal counterparts," Cr Strelow said.

"Progress on these approvals is crucial to ensuring the jobs and economic benefits from these projects can flow to regional Queensland at a time when they are sorely needed."

Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne responded to Cr Strelow's call for more to be done by the state and federal governments.

"I appreciate the sentiments of Mayor Strelow. She and I are consistently working towards the same thing for the people of Rockhampton - more jobs and more economic development," he said.

"The Palaszczuk Government strongly supports the sustainable development of the Galilee Basin so it can provide jobs for Rockhampton and Central Queensland.

"That is why the independent Coordinator General has been working with Adani to facilitate their approvals, while making sure the project is in accordance with statutory obligations."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the Federal Government had tried to pass legislation last year to stop such claims.

"There was legislation put up in parliament last year to stop action in court unless there was a legitimate reason," she said.

Ms Landry said the legislation was passed in the lower house but was blocked in the Senate by the ALP and the Greenswho voted against it.

"It's absolutely ridiculous, it's been court case after court case" she said.

"The legislation would have stopped groups like Get Up from taking court action."

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