Deadline looms on Adani coal royalties deal
TRANSPARENCY has been raised as a critical issue against a looming deadline to finalise a deal between Adani and Queensland Treasury on coal royalties to Queensland taxpayers.
Some commentators have described the deal, expected to be finalised on Monday, as a "closely guarded secret".
An Adani spokeswoman said the company was continuing to work with the State Government to finalise the royalties agreement, with the details of this being commercial-in-confidence.
Energy analysts have speculated the deal would allow the Indian mining giant to defer royalty payments for seven years, equivalent to $900 million.
Critics have suggested if such a deal went ahead, it would be contrary to comments made by Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow to The Age in November last year that the company would "deliver the jobs and business opportunities we have promised for north Queensland and central Queensland, all without requiring a cent of Australian taxpayer dollars".
Transparency International Australia chief executive Serena Lilywhite said the group wanted the terms and conditions of all major mining projects, such as licensing approvals and agreements, mining contracts and deals and arrangements associated with royalties, in the public domain and open for scrutiny.
"Once the deal is signed off on Monday, it's not going to be easy to change that particular deal," Ms Lilywhite said.
"These royalty deals need to be transparent and in the public domain so we can be confident arrangements are put in place that benefits all of Australia."
An Adani spokeswoman said commentary by organisations associated with the "anti-fossil fuel activist movement" about the royalty agreement was unfounded and based on speculation.
"The agreement has not been finalised and these groups have not been party to the negotiations," the spokeswoman said.
"We note these particular third parties did not provide public commentary on the royalties arrangements of other organisations such as New Century Resources, which recently announced a royalty deferral agreement for its zinc mine."