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Adani hits loan roadblock

RESISTING: Anti-Adani protesters outside Queensland’s Parliament House in Brisbane, Australia, on Monday. Reuters

Melbourne: The controversy-ridden Carmichael coal mine project of the Adanis in Australia may not receive a $900-million loan after the Labour Party-led Queensland government said it would exercise its veto to not support the financial assistance.

The $16.5-billion Carmichael coal mine project, one of the world's largest, is scheduled to start construction after getting approvals from the federal and Queensland state governments.

The Adani group had applied for Northern Australia Infrastructure facility loan (NAIF) worth $900 million for building a train line to connect its mine to the coast.

Earlier this month before the election day, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had announced that her Labour Party would veto the NAIF loan if it retains power in the state.

However, after reports of conflict of interest emerged, Palaszczuk said her government would exercise its "veto" to not support the NAIF loan.

"This afternoon I announce that my government has had no role to date in the federal government's assessment process for Adani - now we will have no role in the future," she said and denied any conflict of interest.

"To action my decision, I propose to write to the prime minister to notify him that my government will exercise its 'veto' to not support the NAIF loan - and to remove doubt about any perception of conflict," she was quoted by The Australian as saying.

On Sunday, media reports had said that the Labour Party could form a majority government with Palaszczuk on track to win the necessary 48 seats.

A spokesman for the premier was quoted by a media report as saying that it was now up to Adani to ensure the project was financed. "We expect them to get on with it," he said.

Palaszczuk's team has won 43 seats in the 93-seat parliament and is leading in four of the undecided electorates, which would be enough to form the government. PTI

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