The Greens have heralded the end of the project after a second Chinese bank ruled out providing any funding for the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
“Any financier with any sense doesn’t want Adani,” Greens senator Andrew Bartlett told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
“It’s time for Adani to give it up, save their money and for the politicians of Queensland to focus on the issues that will deliver genuine jobs for regional Queensland.”
A swing against the LNP in the recent state election showed that people don’t want corporations getting special deals, Senator Bartlett said. “They want the community put first.” Overnight, The Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) responded to reports Adani was seeking Chinese financing by distancing itself from the project.
“ICBC has not been, and does not intend to be, engaged in arranging financing for this project,” a statement on the bank’s website.
Another of the ‘big four’ Chinese banks, the China Construction Bank has already ruled out supporting the project.
Australia’s own ‘big four’ banks have ruled out supporting the project, likewise, the Queensland Labor government similarly promised to veto a federal government loan to the project during the recent state election.
Yet Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie said the Adani mine was still an “incredible project” that would be an important source of jobs for regional Queensland.
“I hope that private investment can be found to ensure that project does come to fruition,” Senator McKenzie said.
The senator campaigned in Rockhampton and Keppel during Queensland’s state election.
“On the ground, if you spoke to the young voters, if you spoke to the workers, they wanted to see this project go ahead because they knew it meant local jobs in that north Queensland area.”
But despite the setbacks, Adani looks like it will ramp up its efforts.
Immediately following the Queensland election, the company secured the services of heavyweight lobbyists from both side of politics.
According to the Queensland Integrity Commissioner’s register, on Monday following the state election Adani employed lobby firm Govstrat to advocate on its behalf.
The firm is run by former Queensland Labor Party Treasurer Damian Power and counts former Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge on its books as a principal lobbyist.
It also employs Bill Shorten’s former Chief of Staff Ken McPherson, as well as Jeff Popp, who was Chief of Staff to Jeff Seeney when he was Deputy Premier in the Newman Government.
Govstrat was retained by Star Entertainment Group, then called Echo Entertainment Group, for its successful bid to develop Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf precinct, and has also done work for betting company Tabcorp, Macquarie Bank and Clubs Queensland.
In the Queen’s Wharf case, the previous Newman government had been favouring the rival Crown Resorts bid, however the Palaszczuk government ended up awarding Star the project in 2015.
Adani could be hoping to bring Govstrat’s influence to bear on its proposed Galilee basin mine, after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared during the election campaign she would veto a federal government loan for a rail line linking the project to its coal port.
A spokesman for Adani said the company doesn’t comment on contractors, but added there was nothing out of the ordinary in hiring Govstrat.
“We have always had lobby groups working for us, just as other people have lobbyists working for them,” the spokesman said.
A spokesman for the Government said the election commitments on Adani “would be honoured” and “any use of lobbyists should be declared on the register as it appears was done for Adani on Monday.”