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Friday, 16 June 2017 06:45

Adani Coal Mine – Surely it Can’t Go Ahead

The Australian and Queensland governments are still pushing for the Adani mine to go ahead and are bending over backwards to make this possible. The local native title holders are opposed but the Australian government is trying to legislate away the aboriginal rights.

We still haven’t heard if the Northern Australia Investment Facility will provide a concessional loan of $1 billion to finance the rail line from the Carmichael Basin to the port at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland has offered financial inducements such as the deferral of royalty payments and no payment will be required for the mega litres of water that will be drained from the Great Artesian Basin. Local farmers are concerned about the effect on their water supplies.

Adani has announced a decision to go ahead in principle. But where will the finance come from when already 16 major banks have declined to participate? They can see that the project is not viable. When will reality hit the politicians?

There are many reasons why the mine will be a disaster:

  • Adani has a dubious record that is hard to pin down due to complicated corporate structures and use of offshore tax havens.
  • The chief benefit being promoted is jobs, jobs, jobs but realistic figures are for only about 1,500 full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs as against the hype of 10,000 jobs.
  • The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, claims that the coal will bring the Indian peasants out of poverty. But solar energy has been shown to be more affordable.
  • The mine is a total environmental folly. The opening of the Adani mine and construction of the railway line will open up the whole Galilee Basin that contains enough coal which, if burned, could blow away any hope of keeping global warming within 2°C and undermine any national and state action to tackle climate change.
  • The mine threatens the Great Barrier Reef not only because of the increase in sea temperatures from climate change. The recent heavy rains led to coal washing into wetlands next to Abbot Point, the coal loader leased to Adani. Is this an example of worse to come?
  • The mine would harm the economy of other coal mining states. The massive increase in production would reduce the coal price for coal mined in the Hunter Valley.
  • The current rapid move to renewable energy is likely to reduce demand for coal to the extent that the coal market will collapse. The governments’ support could well be wasted.

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