The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has produced compelling evidence to dismiss allegations from Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney over their meetings two years ago in relation to Waratah Coal’s Galilee Basin project.
Mr Palmer said Mr Seeney has lied about him submitting a draft bill at a meeting held between them on April 13, 2012, that would supposedly give Waratah Coal control over the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
“Waratah Coal never sought to obtain exclusivity over the Galilee Basin or seek to exclude others,” Mr Palmer said.
“State agreements have been used extensively in relation to major projects in Queensland and particularly in relation to resources projects because they provide certainty which enables proponents to make significant investment and source investment capital. Mr Seeney and his advisors should have known this.”
Mr Palmer said there were inconsistencies and lies in Mr Seeney’s claims about his actions at the meeting on the April 3, 2012, which is at the centre of the deputy premier’s decision to hand over documents to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
Mr Seeney implies that the relationship with Mr Palmer broke down after the April 13 meeting, however subsequent letters from Mr Seeney to Mr Palmer show this is not the case.
In a letter to Mr Palmer on April 20, 2012, a week after the meeting in question, Mr Seeney offered congratulations on Mr Palmer’s contribution to the development of the Galilee Basin, not something anyone would do if he was truthful.
Mr Seeney said in the letter: “The Government views the Galilee Basin as a key economic region critical for the economic development of the state. In this regard I congratulate you (Mr Palmer) for your efforts to date, (presumably including the meeting of April 13, 2012) which are contributing to the long held vision of the Galilee Basin becoming a major new resource region.”
Mr Palmer said subsequence correspondence from Mr Seeney dated May 9, 2012, and December 12, 2012, were also accommodating and acknowledged Mr Palmer’s “genuine and considerable engagement”.
“The deputy premier goes on to say he would meet with me personally and on a regular basis to discuss all issues,” Mr Palmer said.
A letter from Premier Campbell Newman dated September 20, 2012, said. “The government will be pleased to continue to work with Waratah Coal to achieve an outcome that meets this commitment and delivers mutual benefits for your company and for our state.”
Mr Palmer said: “These letters clearly show the allegations made by Jeff Seeney have no basis. Jeff Seeney’s recent outbursts, two years after the events, have been nothing more than an attempt and after thought to support the Premier’s attacks on me, which are now the subject of defamation action. The documents signed by Jeff Seeney at the time tell the real story.”
Mr Palmer also rejected claims made by both Mr Seeney and Mr Newman that he tried to use past donations to the LNP in exchange for favourable treatment for his business interests.
“The last donation that was made by me or any of my companies to the LNP campaign funds was in 2010, almost two years prior to the meeting of April 13, 2012,” he said.
“I have no knowledge of how that donation was spent. The last state election wasn’t until March, 2012.
“It is a disgrace that the premier and deputy premier have manufactured these lies about our dealings and misused the CMC for blatant political purposes.”