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The Adani rail link – regional jobs if the billionaire is loaned $1b of taxpayers’ money?

Turnbull and Palaszczuk on the Adani rail link: December 2016

In December, just after their Parliaments had risen for the summer break, a visit by the Adani team to both Premier Palaszczuk and PM Turnbull hit the headlines, with the suggestion that the federal government might ‘loan’ the ‘billionaire’ a billion dollars of taxpayer money to help fund a rail link from Townsville to the proposed Carmichael mine site. 

Premier Palaszczuk’s full media release

The Premier announced details of an agreement to establish a regional headquarters and regional support services for the Carmichael mine project. See the link below, including the statement:

‘“My Government has been determined for this project to create as many jobs for regional Queensland as possible.”

‘“Adani had originally proposed to locate its project offices in Brisbane. I welcome the Adani commitment to locate them in our regions.”

‘The Premier said Adani had confirmed today that the:

  • regional headquarters will be based in Townsville;
  • remote operations centre will be in Townsville;
  • rail and port operations headquarters will be in Bowen;
  • mining services based in Mackay;
  • rail maintenance and provisioning yard in the Mackay-Bowen region;
  • project sourcing centres in Townsville, Charters Towers, Rockhampton, Emerald, Clermont and Moranbah; and
  • the shortlist for a Fly in Fly Out hub is Townsville and Rockhampton, with a decision due in 2017 coinciding with the start of early works.

‘“My Government was worked with Adani to ensure the project went through a rigorous and comprehensive assessment process for the mine, rail and port development,” the Premier said.

‘“We promised the people of Queensland, at the last election, that we would protect the Great Barrier Reef and Caley Valley Wetlands from disposal of dredged spoil from the Abbot Point port expansion.”

‘“We also promised the Queensland Government, on behalf of taxpayers, would not fund project infrastructure.”

‘“We have delivered our commitments and now we look forward to the thousands of new jobs – direct and indirect – to be delivered from the Carmichael Coal project.”

‘The Premier has also welcomed Adani’s proposal to establish a $200 million large-scale solar project near Moranbah.’

Adani Carmichael mine: Drilling into the numbers for Queensland

Felicity Caldwell unpicks various elements of the Adani proposal in an article in the Brisbane Times (7.12.16). 

Is the rush to approve one of the world’s biggest coal mines delusion or corruption?

Ben Eltham writes in New Matilda (7.12.16) that ‘in politics, it’s sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction. And it can be particularly hard to tell delusion from corruption.’

Adani’s mega mine neither financially viable nor justified, says energy analyst

The ABC reports (8.12.16) that ‘despite the announcements [by the federal and Queensland governments on the Adani rail line], energy analyst Tim Buckley from the anti-coal think tank The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said there is still doubt over whether the mine is even viable:

‘”All of my financial analysis over the last four years says the mine is neither financially viable nor strategically required or justified,” Mr Buckley said.

‘”Financial closure is going to be a major obstacle, I have absolutely no doubt. As the company has admitted, they have not been talking to any financial institutions about this project”.’

Adani mine faces another legal hurdle

‘Adani is facing a fresh legal battle over its planned Carmichael coal mine, a day after announcing workforce arrangements for the long-awaited project. (Brisbane Times, 7.12.16)

‘The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council has instructed lawyers to file an appeal against a Queensland government decision to issue leases for the mine before other court proceedings had finished.’

Should taxpayers’ $$ support an industry investors are increasingly wary of

Damian Carrington and Emma Howard The Guardian reported in September 2015 that:

‘Scientists agree that most existing coal, oil and gas reserves must remain in the ground if global warming is to be kept below the internationally-agreed danger limit of 2C. This means that, if action on climate change is successful, the vast majority of fossil fuels will be unburnable and the companies owning those reserves could crash in value. Many coal companies have already seen their share prices crash as limits on carbon emissions get stricter.

‘The World Bank, along with analysts at Citigroup, HSBC, Mercer and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, have all warned of the financial risk climate action poses to fossil fuel investments. The Bank of England and G20 are examining the risk this poses to the global economy.’

India announces plan to step away from coal, casting doubt on approved Queensland Adani mine

India has ‘a plan that involves building 215 gigawatts of renewable energy, building another 20 gigawatts of hydro, building five gigawatts of nuclear, building a bit more gas, and dramatically elevating the importance of energy efficiency and grid efficiency in order to diversify India rapidly away from coal.’

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