Photo: The Adani board was to meet in India next week for final approval but has postponed the meeting. (AAP)
Senior Queensland Government members were in meetings on Monday night, discussing how to urgently convince Indian company Adani to proceed with a board meeting to fund the proposed Carmichael coal mine.The mining giant has postponed its final investment decision on the $16.5-billion project in central Queensland until the State Government gives "clarity" over lower or deferred royalties.
A company spokesman said they were waiting for the State Government to advise on whether it would offer a lower royalty rate or deferred royalties.
The Adani board was to meet in India next week for final approval but has postponed the meeting.
The State Cabinet on Monday discussed whether to give Adani a royalty discount or deferral, but no decision has been made.
The ABC revealed last week the move could cost up to $320 million in lost royalties to Queensland.
On Monday afternoon, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would not be drawn into revealing what was discussed in Cabinet.
"There is no Cabinet submission at the moment, our main focus today was on the budget — it was on a budget which is going to be handed down next month, focused on infrastructure and focused on jobs," she said.The proposed royalty deal is understood to have caused division among Labor factions.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Roads Minister Mark Bailey, from the Left faction, have publicly opposed any government subsidy of the mine and said that had been Labor's position since before the 2015 state election.
However earlier on Monday, Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said royalty arrangements were being considered by the Government.
"Queensland Labor has always taken a sensible and prudent approach to resource development," he said.
Government indecision has put project at risk: OppositionAfter criticising the Government for considering royalties last week, the Opposition on Monday was criticising it for indecisiveness.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the Government's had put Adani's multi-billion-dollar investment at risk.
"Labor should have come up with a decision and they've failed to do so," he said.
"But their failure to come to a decision, their bitter internal divisions, their desire to say one thing in north Queensland and another in the south east, has led to the situation where Adani now is deferring its investment decision, and must be seriously wondering whether under this Labor Government the project should go ahead.
"[The Queensland Government] delayed and deferred it and the people that are paying the price are the Queenslanders that are looking for jobs in this sector."
Just four days earlier, shadow treasurer Scott Emerson said it was "extraordinary" the Government was looking at "doing a secret deal" to benefit one company.
Greens, activists accuse Adani of bullyingQueensland Greens senator Larissa Waters said the mining company was trying to bully the State Government into handing over $320 million in free coal.
"So far, Adani is in line for a $1 billion handout, unlimited free water, new legal loopholes, special changes to Native Title, a free pass on reef destruction," she said.She called on the Queensland and Federal Governments to abandon their support for the project.
Activist group Get Up said if Adani could not afford the project without a royalty holiday, it was not financially viable.
"If Adani can't afford to build the mine without free water, free money and free coal, then Queenslanders can't afford to let them build it at all," GetUp Queensland campaigner Ellen Roberts said.
Adani previously said the proposed $16.5-billion mine would create thousands of local jobs, and it was expected to produce 25 million tonnes of coal per year during its first phase.
The former Newman government granted the mine preliminary approval in May 2014, before it received federal backing five months later.
Over the last two years, the project has slowly stepped through the approval process for the mine and associated railway line to transport coal in the Galilee Basin to the Abbott Point port.
Infographic: A map showing the Adani Group's Carmichael coal mine and rail project as of March 2015. (Sourced: adanimining.com)
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