THE Adani megamine is expected to be signed and sealed within a fortnight and the first of up to 600 workers will start to fill its Townsville office next month.
The company is in the final phase of its negotiations and approvals.
The last stumbling block is whether Labor will support the native title amendments that are expected to go to Parliament next week.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was playing ”butterfly economics” and needed to tell Australians where he stood.
“Labor has given up on workers. They want to fight the Greens down to the last kaftan, the last wind chime,” Mr Joyce said.
His comments came as Adani signed a deal with Arrium’s Whyalla steelworks in South Australia for 54,000 tonnes of steel rail to build the 388km link from the Carmichael mine to Abbot Point.
“We are not afraid of saying coal miner, we are not afraid of saying steelworker,” Mr Joyce said.
“If you say you are not supporting Adani, you are saying you are not supporting jobs in Whyalla or in central Queensland.”
Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said construction delays cost Adani about $5 million a month, but he would fly to India in a fortnight to ask the board for a financial decision.
He said chairman Gautam Adani was supportive and during his visit to Queensland last week had given strong backing for the $21 billion project.
The decision should pave the way for construction to start in August and Mr Janakaraj said it was only native title holding it back. “The next three weeks will be game changers for the Galilee Basin,” Mr Janakaraj said.
The Adani rail project will generate about 4000 jobs and about as many as 3000 in mine construction through its several phases.