Adani hires heavy-hitting lobby firm

Mining giant Adani has hired lobby firm Govstrat, which features big-name lobbyists from both sides of politics, to advocate on behalf of its Carmichael mine.

Adani secured the services of a team of heavyweight lobbyists from both sides of politics immediately following last weekend's state election, in an apparent effort to ensure its Carmichael mine goes ahead.

According to the Queensland Integrity Commissioner's register, on Monday following the state election Adani employed lobby firm Govstrat to advocate on its behalf.

The firm is run by former Queensland Labor Party Treasurer Damian Power and counts former Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge on its books as a principal lobbyist.

It also employs Bill Shorten's former Chief of Staff Ken McPherson, as well as Jeff Popp, who was Chief of Staff to Jeff Seeney when he was Deputy Premier in the Newman Government.

Govstrat was retained by Star Entertainment Group, then called Echo Entertainment Group, for its successful bid to develop Brisbane's Queen's Wharf precinct, and has also done work for betting company Tabcorp, Macquarie Bank and Clubs Queensland.

In the Queen's Wharf case, the previous Newman government had been favouring the rival Crown Resorts bid, however the Palaszczuk government ended up awarding Star the project in 2015.

Adani could be hoping to bring Govstrat's influence to bear on its proposed Galilee basin mine, after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared during the election campaign she would veto a federal government loan for a rail line linking the project to its coal port.

A spokesman for Adani said the company doesn't comment on contractors, but added there was nothing out of the ordinary in hiring Govstrat.

"We have always had lobby groups working for us, just as other people have lobbyists working for them," the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Government said the election commitments on Adani "would be honoured" and "any use of lobbyists should be declared on the register as it appears was done for Adani on Monday."

2 min read
Published 30 November 2017 at 12:06pm
Source: AAP