Mayor Anne Baker under fire for charging Adani.
Mayor Anne Baker under fire for charging Adani. Contributed

Council under fire for charging Adani for extra staff

ANTI-ADANI protesters claim the energy giant's bankrolling of Isaac Regional Council staff is a clear conflict of interest, but the council argues it will not put the burden of the required extra workload on its ratepayers.

The council is employing four people to help through the mega mine's approval process, and will be invoicing the miner for the cost of the additional staff.

This is to ensure that ratepayers are not footing the bill.

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said the resource sector had to pay its way.

"Isaac produces almost half of Queensland's saleable coal and we are proud to be a region which feeds, power and builds communities," Cr Baker said.


"We have 26 active coal mines, with several more under consideration for development, including Carmichael.

"It is normal practice for local governments to reach terms with proponents of major resources projects in relation to the reimbursement of such costs.

The council's annual revenue is about $97 million, and the cost to the council for the Adani project is expected to be more than $1 million.

"To be clear, without this cost recovery our ratepayers would be forced to subsidise a multinational to the tune of more than $1 million. This is about big business paying its way," Cr Baker said.

"I reject the suggestion that a regional council, with a small resident population and a footprint of 58,000sq km, should pick up the bill for a multi-national."

She said the agreement was in the best interests of the community.

"To be clear, Isaac Regional Council is not the approving authority for the Carmichael Mine project.

"This accountability rests with the State and Federal governments and we have little, if any, influence in this process," she said.

"These people would be employees of council, recruited through our established merit-based selection process and salaried in accordance with our employment conditions."

A Local Government Association of Queensland spokesperson confirmed there is a similar arrangement existing between councils and a commercial entity at Maranoa and Central Highlands councils, and there is nothing unlawful about such an arrangement.

Ms Baker said Adani had no input into this, and the council was simply reimbursed for the extra staff costs.

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