Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government’s deal to finance a new coal haulage rail line for mining company Adani could cost taxpayers up to $1.08 billion.
“In the face of the wall of secrecy the LNP Government has erected around this deal, we are left to speculate on the costs involved,” Mr Pitt said.
“The company’s own documentation submitted to the Co-ordinator-General shows the rail line will likely cost $2.2 billion.
“Jeff Seeney has spoken of a state contribution worth ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars.
“That means, at bare minimum, a stake of at least 10%. If it is 20% the cost to taxpayers will be $440 million — getting close to half-a-billion dollars.
“Mr Seeney’s own public statements talk of the company providing a majority of the costs involved.
“So if the company puts in a bare majority of 51%, the state’s contribution could go as high as 49% and that level of taxpayer funding would equate to $1.08 billion.
“It is up to Mr Seeney to provide the exact figure and if $1.08 billion is not it, then what is it, and why is it a secret?”
Mr Pitt said while new mining projects and new jobs were essential for Queensland, taxpayers were entitled to know what deal Mr Seeney had struck on their behalf using their money.
“So far taxpayers could be forgiven for thinking Mr Seeney has handed over a blank cheque,” he said.
“He needs to give Queenslanders the facts and tell them how much of their money he is handing over to a private mining firm; for how long; and how much of it will they get back, if any.
“His approach is in stark contrast to the former Labor Government that encouraged project proponents to pool capital to deliver their infrastructure through their own resources.”
Mr Pitt said Queenslanders wanted answers about the LNP’s secret deal.
“They especially want to know why the government plans to buy assets for a private company and will the deal by selling public assets,” he said.
“Unfortunately any jobs created by the new mining project will be offset by the job losses flowing from the LNP’s asset sales that are funding the secret deal.”