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Former Indian environment minister sounds alarm on Adani's track record, mega-mine's viability

In a special Four Corners report (2.10.17), the ABC's Stephen Long and colleagues uncover previously unknown tax haven ties for Adani Group's Australian operations, with key assets ultimately owned in the British Virgin Islands, further calling into question the viability of the Group's proposed Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland.

'India's former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is "absolutely appalled" by the Australian Government's approval of the Adani Group's massive coal mine in North Queensland, which he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, "a common heritage of mankind".

'Mr Ramesh, an elder statesman of India's opposition Congress Party, also said the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence on Adani Group's environmental and financial conduct in India before granting environmental approvals and mining licenses.

'"Adani Group's track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired," Mr Ramesh told Four Corners. "And if it leaves a lot to be desired domestically, there's no reason for me to believe that Adani would be a responsible environmental player globally".

'Mr Ramesh said it was almost beyond belief that the Australian Government would look to provide concessional loans and other taxpayer support to facilitate Adani Group's coal mining project — because of the consequences for climate change of developing a giant new mine and opening an entire new coal basin.'

Why are we still pursuing the Adani Carmichael mine?

Micheal West writes in The Conversation (4.10.17) that, following the ABC's Four Corners program 'Digging into Adani', the question remains: why is the project still being pursued at all?

'Why, if Adani’s gigantic Carmichael coal project is so on-the-nose for the banks and so environmentally destructive, are the federal and Queensland governments so avid in their support of it? Once again the absurdity of building the world’s biggest new thermal coal mine was put in stark relief on Monday evening via an ABC Four Corners investigation, ‘Digging into Adani’.

'Where the ABC broke new ground was in exposing the sheer breadth of corruption by this Indian energy conglomerate. And its power too. The TV crew was detained and questioned in an Indian hotel for five hours by police.

'It has long been the subject of high controversy that the Australian government, via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)that is still contemplating a A$1 billion subsidy for Adani’s rail line, a proposal to freight the coal from the Galilee Basin to Adani’s port at Abbot Point on the Great Barrier Reef.

'But more alarming still, and Four Corners touched on this, is that the federal government is also considering using taxpayer money to finance the mine itself, not just the railway.

 

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