AMMA notes with frustration that Adani’s job-generating Carmichael Project continues to be used a political football in the lead-up to the Federal Election.
The project continues to be a hot topic, with former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson writing in The Australian that “opposition to one mine has morphed into opposition to coalmining in general – a reckless and dangerous position”.
“India is a developing country doing exactly what the first-world countries did when they were at the development stage,” he said.
“It is building 40 coal-fired power stations. In a country where air quality in the larger cities is already terrible, the Indians are smart enough to know their coal, or coal from Indonesia, is the dirtiest coal on the planet.
“Is it any wonder they seek to develop using Australian coal, the cleanest coal you can buy?”
He said the Federal Labor Party must give a “definite yes” to the mine and Opposition leader Bill Shorten should give this assurance now.
It comes after senior Labor MP Richard Marles declared it would be “a good thing” if the thermal coal sector collapsed, despite it being the nation’s No 1 export industry, pumping more than $25 billion into the Australian economy last year.
Further, in today’s Australian Financial Review, Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler broke ranks with his party leader by declaring it was “not in the national interest” to open up the Galilee Basin for coal mining.
At state level, Adani is increasingly perplexed by Queensland Government shifting the goal posts on its Carmichael project that will deliver thousands of jobs for regional Queensland.
Resources Investment commissioner Caoilin Chestnutt described the state environmental assessment process “an absolute mess’’ that could take years to finalise.
Adani said equipment and staff are currently onsite undertaking preliminary works within current approvals and is ready to commence construction as soon as the management plans are finalised.
“We continue to receive assurances from the Department of Environment and Science that no decision has been made yet on our management plans, and yet this statement suggests the exact opposite,” an Adani spokesperson said.
“This is another example of the Queensland Government shifting the goal posts for Adani. We just want a fair go so we can get on with delivering thousands of jobs for regional Queensland.”
AMMA Acting Chief Executive Tara Diamond said the approval process would be viewed unfavourably by the investment community.
“When the Queensland Government inexplicitly outsourced its environmental review responsibilities to a third party of anti-coal activists, there was only ever going to be one outcome,” Ms Diamond said.
“The government has willingly participated in having the extensive work of its own department hijacked by ideologues. It would be frankly quite embarrassing for it to accept the findings and recommendations of the Wintle report.
“This has played out extremely poorly from a sovereign risk perspective. It should be remembered that the Queensland Government encouraged Adani to pursue development of its Carmichael Project many years ago, only to have since given it probably the worse run-around of any major project investor in Australia’s history.
“Major resources projects often have lead times of 10 years or more. Investors can’t afford to have government policy whimsically shifting based on short-term politics influenced by noisy minority activist groups. They will simply take their money elsewhere in future, something the activist groups are all too aware of.”