Information about Adani was described as “not particularly transparent” in emails between high-ranking government bureaucrats.
Information about Adani was described as “not particularly transparent” in emails between high-ranking government bureaucrats. Sam Panthaky

Emails reveal bureaucrats' Adani concerns

QUEENSLAND Government emails released under right to information legislation have highlighted high-ranking bureaucrats' concerns about Adani and its $16 billion Carmichael mine and rail line.

The Indian mining giant plans to build the project in the coal-rich Galilee Basin, west of Mackay and Rockhampton.

But 347 pages of emails from September to December last year revealed confusion among officials at Queensland Treasury and one of its divisions, Projects Queensland, while Adani sought money from the Newman Government to help build its rail line.

In one email a Projects Queensland officer told his executive director that Adani wanted cash "with virtually no strings attached".

The same officer also said the company's continued expansion to meet power and mine ambitions would place its financial position under increased stress.

Information about Adani itself was described as "not particularly transparent".

The group who applied for the documents, the North Queensland Conservation Council, said it was concerning the Newman Government failed to conduct proper due diligence of Adani's finances before pledging public money which risked never being repaid.

NQCC spokesman Jeremy Tager accused the Palaszczuk Government of being willing to do the same.

"The Queensland Premier must immediately call a halt to any moves to spend taxpayers' money on Adani's port, mine and rail projects - including via subsidies - and require a full and formal due diligence assessment of Adani's capacity to undertake this development," he said.

"Adani Mining cannot find finance for the project, and it does not have the ability to provide security for any Queensland Government investment of public money in the venture."

A spokeswoman for Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the government intended to meet its election commitments.

"Both in terms of the dredging project at Abbot Point and not making direct government contributions towards funding the railway," she said.

"The Palaszczuk Government expects Adani to meet all of its obligations in relation to all relevant State and Commonwealth legislation."

The spokeswoman said the views raised in the documents related to the Newman Government's interactions and approaches to Adani.

She said they did not reflect the Palaszczuk Government or Queensland Treasury's current views.

An Adani spokeswoman said Adani had provided the Queensland Government with a strong and robust business case.

"Adani was not and is not involved in internal discussions between (the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning) and Queensland Treasury officials and isn't in a position to reflect on exchanges between departmental officers," she said.

LNP Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said it was common for departments to disagree and it would be a very bland government if they all agreed.