Huge price tag for review into finch
TAXPAYERS forked almost $30,000 for an independent review into Adani's black-throated-finch management plan.
The $27,000 figure for review was revealed by Environment Department director-general Jamie Merrick as he and minister Leeanne Enoch faced a grilling from both the LNP and the Greens over the Government's handling of the Carmichael coal mine during yesterday's Budget Estimates.
The review - revealed by The Courier-Mail earlier this year - further fuelled allegations the State Government was stalling on the Galilee Basin mine.
Mr Merrick said it was ordered because "a number of matters were unresolved" in regards to the miner's black-throated-finch management plan.
"The Carmichael coalmine is the site of the largest and most significant known population of the endangered black-throated finch," Mr Merrick said.
"As a result of engagement with the proponent, over a period of time, the fact a number of matters were unresolved, and the significance of the black-throated finch population, the regulator formed the view that there should be a review by an independent expert panel.
"The review was to ensure that the final decision regarding the potential approval of the BTFMP (black-throated-finch management plan) was consistent with the very best threatened species and conservation science.
"It was assessed and reviewed externally by highly qualified experts in the field."
Mr Merrick said it was not unusual.
Opposition environment spokesman David Crisafulli also grilled Ms Enoch and her director-general on whether Deputy Premier Jackie Trad had any input in the mine's environmental approvals.
Both responded no. Ms Enoch used the grilling to defend herself over contentious comments she made to anti-Adani protesters about the mine, insisting she was being critical of federal legislation, not the State's environmental laws.
"I did not say that the Queensland laws are flawed," she told the hearing.
"I said that legislation is flawed.
"When you look at the federal government in terms of the lack of policy and legislation around climate change, there certainly needs to be some action at the federal level."