’No plans to review Adani’: Shorten
OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has declared Adani's approvals won't be reviewed while defending his previous scepticism of the mining project in the Galilee Basin.
In Townsville yesterday, Mr Shorten said three times during a press conference that he had "no plans to review Adani", days after mixed messaging while on the campaign trail in North Queensland.
The views of Labor candidates in North Queensland on the Adani mine are at odds with those of their southern state colleagues, with multiple Labor frontbenchers on the record questioning the mining giant's approval processes, particularly the environmental approvals ticked off by Environment Minister Melissa Price just before the election.
Herbert MP Cathy O'Toole has sought to make her support for opening up the Galilee Basin clear in recent weeks, including a launching a scathing attack against her three State Labor colleagues for not doing the same.
Mr Shorten insisted the party's messaging on Adani had been consistent.
"I said I have no plans to review Adani full stop," he said.
"My backbenchers have got plenty of views, that's life, we don't run a dictatorship.
"Cathy O'Toole is a North Queenslander first and foremost, she's got a very clear position but at the end of the day the Labor cabinet will make the decisions, and we have no plans to review Adani."
Adani chief executive Lucas Dow welcomed Mr Shorten's commitment.
"We're already seeing impacts on Queensland's international investment reputation as a result of the Queensland Labor Government's road blocks on the Carmichael Project," he said.
"Mr Shorten and (Shadow Treasurer Chris) Bowen have been at pains to reinforce that they will not be in the habit of tearing up existing approvals and creating the ensuing sovereign risk and associated compensation payments, accordingly his commitment today is consistent with this approach."
Mr Shorten also faced fire for comments he made last year saying he was sceptical about the Carmichael project.
"When I said I was sceptical of it that's because they've had more false starts than a horse race," he said.
"The reality is, is that they have seem to found their commercial finance, so that's that, but in terms of the science, the law, sovereign risk, we will be governed by the law, that has been our position."
Ms O'Toole denied she was being undermined by her colleagues and said she could "sit comfortably" with Mr Shorten, saying Adani's approvals would not be reviewed.
"I think I cannot see my party or our leader ever putting this nation at sovereign risk," she said.
LNP candidate for Herbert Phil Thompson said neither Ms O'Toole nor Mr Shorten had ever stated their outright support for the Carmichael mine with a "yes" or "no".
"I think it's pretty clear that the Labor Party aren't on the same sheet of music and it depends on where Mr Shorten is on what he says," he said.