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March 20, 2023

Qld deputy premier details Palmer demands

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Clive Palmer after announcing he would run in the federal election. AFP photo William West
Clive Palmer after announcing he would run in the federal election. AFP photo William West

Clive Palmer allegedly demanded exclusive control of coal movements in Queensland’s Galilee Basin in exchange for stopping his attacks on the Newman government.

The Courier-Mail says the mining magnate detailed his terms in a three-page letter he gave to Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s senior staff early last year before he became a federal MP.

The proposal would have also forced Indian mining giant Adani and Gina Rinehart’s GVK Hancock to negotiate with Mr Palmer for rail access to freight their coal to port.

Mr Seeney has referred Mr Palmer – a former Liberal National Party major donor and life member who quit the party in November 2012 – to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) over his alleged efforts to buy the Newman government’s support.

The three-page letter, along with other documents about Mr Palmer’s dealings with the government, will be handed to the CMC on Tuesday.

Mr Palmer has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and has accused Mr Seeney of peddling lies and says he should resign from parliament.

The Courier-Mail says the letter demanded the government give Mr Palmer’s company Waratah Coal the exclusive rights to own and operate the rail corridor through the Galilee Basin.

In exchange, Mr Palmer promised to drop multiple actions in the Supreme Court, cease all right-to-information applications and not publicly disparage the government over the Galilee Basin, the paper says.

Mr Seeney told the paper he was appalled when his staff returned from a meeting at Mr Palmer’s Mineralogy office with the list of demands.

“I had told him four or five times to his face that we weren’t going to treat him that way,” he said.

“And I thought that this guy just doesn’t get it.”

Mr Seeney has previously said the police and the CMC were not told about the corruption allegations at the time they were allegedly made, but Premier Campbell Newman was.

The Labor opposition says questions must be asked about why Mr Seeney waited so long to raise the corruption allegations with authorities.

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