Anger over Adani appointment
The Queensland Government has been slammed for appointing an Adani director to oversee the Abbot Point coal port.
Ignoring large conflict of interest claims, Brad Fish was made chair of the state-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) in 2015.
Mr Fish has previously worked as a director of Adani's Abbot Point Operations Pty Ltd.
NQBP oversees ports Abbot Point, where Adani runs the only operating coal terminal.
It has now been revealed the Mr Fish was director of Abbot Point Operations at the time of his appointment as NQBP chair.
“It's undoubtedly a conflict of interest, and the real question then becomes how do you manage the conflict,” University of Queensland Professor of Commercial Law Ross Grantham has told the ABC.
Mr Fish was the CEO of NQBP for 14 years before becoming a director of Abbot Point Operations
Greenpeace says it has serious questions.
“Mr Fish was chairman of North Queensland Bulk Ports that was responsible for regulating the port of Abbot Point at the same time as he was director of a company that was profiting from the operations of that port,” Nik Casule from Greenpeace said.
Queensland’s treasurer has confirmed that it knew of Mr Fish's directorship, but says he “disclosed potential conflicts of interest prior to his appointment”.
Mr Fish's directorship with Abbot Point Operations was not disclosed publicly by Treasurer Curtis Pitt's office or North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation at the time of his appointment.
“Mr Fish continues to be precluded from considering, being involved in discussions or receiving documents relating to commercial decisions regarding Adani,” an NQBP spokesman told reporters.
“The requirement for Mr Fish to be precluded from relevant sections of Board or Committee meetings has been an infrequent occurrence.
“However the requirements under the protocol are strictly enforced where applicable.
Prof Grantham says this would make him ineffective.
“If the person concerned is not able to be involved in discussions between the port authority and the client then you wonder whether the person is really able to fully discharge their duties,” said Professor Grantham.