Adani row threatens to tear union apart
TWO of the most powerful divisions in the militant CFMEU have taken opposing positions in the battle over the future of the Adani Carmichael coalmine.
Michael Ravbar, the CFMEU's controversial construction division boss, yesterday slammed Annastacia Palaszczuk for her "sudden rush" to demand a final decision on the Carmichael megamine.
Effectively endorsing the Government's previous stalling tactics that threatened to delay the mine's approval for up to five years, he warned Ms Palaszczuk she risked being "conned by corporate carpetbaggers" and selling out local jobs.
Bitter tensions within the militant union's construction and mining divisions have boiled over since Labor's crushing loss in Saturday's federal election, much of it blamed on the state party's animosity towards Adani and the regional jobs it promises.
The CFMEU has significant influence within state Labor's dominant Left faction, led by Treasurer Jackie Trad, who has been cast as the architect of the Adani delays.
The bitter split is certain to spill over into the state party room. The union's mining division, which has been screaming out for promised jobs from Adani, welcomed the Premier's astonishing about-face on Wednesday to demand a definite timeline to resolve the approval of two environment management plans.
CFMEU national president and mining division powerbroker Tony Maher said yesterday the mine had significant community support, on the grounds it would create good local jobs.
Hours earlier, Mr Ravbar, who is also a Labor federal executive member, had pounced on Ms Palaszczuk's latest comments in Townsville to label Adani a "shonky multinational" and saying "the promise of jobs and prosperity that was such a touchstone in the federal election is a myth, a fiction designed to hoodwink people into thinking Adani will be a good corporate citizen".
He said Adani would bring construction workers from India, and the mine would be largely automated, with just a handful of labour-hire workers.
Adani chief executive Lucas Dow rubbished those claims.
"There's no automation contemplated on our project; we're not engaging with 457 visas, we're talking about jobs for Queenslanders," he said.