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Mayor puts Gladstone workers and companies on Adani map

MAYOR Matt Burnett has put Gladstone fair and square under the noses of Adani during his visit to India.

In his column, written exclusively for The Observer, Cr Burnett reveals he met with with Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani board, on Friday.

Cr Burnett told Mr Adani he was there with a "selfish view" to make sure Gladstone was considered when Adani's mega Carmichael coal mine goes ahead in the Galilee Basin west of Mackay.

After spending extended time with Mr Adani's son Karan, Cr Burnett told Gautam Adani about the benefits of Gladstone being involved in the proposed project. He came away having made Mr Adani aware of the advantages for his company if it utilised Gladstone workers and engineering firms.

Cr Burnett has been in India for the past three days with a delegation including the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and several other regional mayors with the aim of meeting with Adani officials and reaffirming the state's commitment to the proposed coal mine.

Here is the Mayor's "Mission to Mumbai" column direct from India:

"Today (Friday in India) we flew to Bhuj and then travelled by bus to Mundra and inspected the Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (similar to the Gladstone State Development Area and Gladstone Ports Corporation combined).

Here we met with Samir Vora, the chief executive of Mundra Solar PV Ltd.

The Port precinct is on a scale like nothing I have ever seen before. It would fair to say it is larger than Brisbane, Townsville and Gladstone ports combined. 

I presented Mr Vora with our Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) capabilities statement and membership directory showcasing our local engineering firms and highly skilled workforce.

I have 10 copies to give out and I will make sure every decision maker not only has a copy but understands exactly what the Gladstone region can provide. 

We also had the opportunity to inspect their solar panel manufacturing plant and edible oil packaging and distribution centre. 

The Mundra SEZ is also home to huge coal-fired power station, larger than Gladstone and Callide power plants combined. 

I spent some time with Karan Adani (Gautam Adani's son) and learned about the Adani Foundation, which is similar to the Rio Tinto Community Fund and the QGC Sustainable Communities Fund.

Those interested can go to adanifoundation.org 

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett with Karan Adani, son of Adani chairman Gautum Adani, during his visit to India
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett with Karan Adani, son of Adani chairman Gautum Adani, during his visit to India Supplied

One thing I learnt from Karan is that Adani is well and truly a family company, albeit a global giant, but still a family company. And from what I have seen during my visit, the family has the best interest of the people of India at heart. 

There is severe poverty, starvation and disease in India. Millions of people are without the basics we take for granted like clean drinking water, safe and secure shelter, electricity and food. 

After a few hours inspecting the facilities at the SEZ we flew back to Mumbai to meet with the board of Adani.

With our bus breaking down earlier in the day, our flight being delayed and insane Mumbai traffic, we had 10 minutes to get ready for our meeting with the board.

The meeting went well, the Premier and all mayor's spoke about the importance of the project to Queensland and our individual regions.

I said to the Chairman Gautam Adani that, to be honest, I came here with a selfish view only really considering how Gladstone could benefit from the Carmichael Coal Mine development but that I can now see how both our countries can benefit. 

Based on our conversations I believe the board will make the final investment decision to proceed very soon.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we fly to Madurai then drive to Kamuthi to inspect the world's largest solar farm (650MW). Then it is to Chennai before heading home.” 

Topics:  adani gladstone mayor india jobs mining



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