Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Australian greens accuse Adani Group of making "false promises" of economic benefits from coalmining project

A GetUp! poster against Adanis in Australia
By Our Representative
In a development which may go a long way adversely the powerful industrial group of Adanis’, currently involved in a legal tangle in a land court in Australia’s Queensland province for obtaining permission to go ahead with one of the world’s biggest coalmining projects, the British daily Guardian has reported the “Indian conglomerate” has admitted it will not be able to “generate” 10,000 jobs it had previously promised.
“Australia’s largest coalmine would deliver only a fraction of the jobs and state government payments promised by the company, Queensland’s land court has heard”, daily says.

It adds, “The Carmichael mine in central Queensland and the related Abbot Point coal port would generate 1,464 jobs and up to $4.8bn in royalties, an expert economic witness for Adanis has told the court”.
The daily quotes Jerome Fahrer, an economic consultant commissioned by Adanis to model the outputs of its proposed 30-year coalmine, as telling the court that state royalties to Queensland would “range from $3.7bn to $4.8bn when discounting for inflation”, adding “His modelling also shows a total of 1,464 jobs, which includes related indirect jobs generated by the mine, over 30 years.”
“The figures are a far cry from the 10,000 jobs and $22bn Adani has used in seeking government approval for the mine and a public relations campaign aimed at negating public opposition over its impact on the Great Barrier Reef through shipping and emissions”, the daily, which is the winner of Pulitzer Prize for 2014, said.
“The company’s projections were endorsed as recently as last week by the new state Labour government in justifying its qualified support of the mine”, the Guardian says, adding, “The new figures were revealed on Monday during a cross-examination of Adani witness Fahrer by barrister Saul Holt for the conservation group Coast and Country.”
Australian conservationists have gone to the land court seeking it recommend refusal of Adanis’ applications for an environmental approval and a mining lease for the $10 billion project. The news that only a “fraction” of the promised jobs would be created has led top environmental group GetUp! to declare that this is yet another proof that that Adanis can't be trusted. It has said, “There was one argument left in favour of it - jobs. Now we know they don't exist.”
Meanwhile, an Adanis’ spokesman went in for a firefighting mode in Australia, saying the company stood by its “commitment to deliver $22bn in taxes and royalties for Queensland”, adding, the “full context of Dr Fahrer’s modelling and its assumptions have not been disclosed”.
“The land court process relates to the economic benefits of the mine at Carmichael – it does not envisage the combined tax and royalty, direct and indirect, construction and operational job benefits of Adani’s mine, rail and port projects,” he said.
“It’s highly problematic that we don’t have government agencies that undertake and scrutinise this work and it’s really reliant on organisations or landholders or companies impacted by the proposed development to have to undertake this themselves”, he added.
Another Australian daily, the Sydney Morning Herald, meanwhile, has said that the Adani Group is facing a strong challenge from “a conservation group in the land court of Queensland to stop it proceeding with its $10 billion Galilee Basin thermal coal mine and infrastructure project.” It adds, “Taking the stand on Friday was Adani Mining's financial controller Rajesh Gupta whose performance when cross-examined ranged from unconvincing to embarrassingly vague and forgetful.”
“Among the key things to emerge so far: Adani had previously announced the conditional sale of T1, its terminal at Abbot Point, to the Bombay Stock Exchange. Now, as revealed earlier this year by Fairfax Media, Adani has confirmed the sale has not happened”, the daily reports.

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