Palmer wants port plan reviewed

CLIVE Palmer’s Waratah Coal has applied for a judicial review of the Queensland government’s decision not to grant state-significant status to its 40 million tonne capacity coal facility at Abbot Point.
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Waratah Coal's proposed rail route to Abbot Point.

Justin Niessner

The legal action follows a media campaign by the outspoken billionaire against the state government. These included Twitter statements suggesting Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney was “destroying billions of dollars of exports and jobs” in Galilee Basin region.

“We’ve put it in for approval – we already had existing approval for the original proposal – and the coordinator-general knocked it back,” Palmer said.

“[Coordinator-general Barry Broe] also revoked the state-significance status it had. We don’t think he had valid reason to do it and we’re taking him to court to get a judicial review of it.”

A rail infrastructure project headed by Indian-Australian joint venture GVK-Hancock, preferred by the state government to Palmer’s proposal, was submitted last week for public approval.

Palmer has openly questioned the feasibility of the project, citing GVK’s entanglement in India’s governmental coalfield allocation scandal known as “coalgate”

“It’s pretty bad that the Indian government has decided to withdraw GVK’s bond,” he said.

“If they’re not meeting their obligations in India, why does the Queensland government think they will meet their obligations here.”

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