Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Ironclad assurance? Adani not to employ Indians, other foreigners in $16.5 billion Australian coal mining project

By Our Representative
No Indians would be allowed employment in the Adani Group’s controversial $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mining project in Queensland province. Melbourne-based South Asia Times (SAT) has quoted group chairman Gautam Adani as having assured the Australian authorities that he would not bring any foreign workers for his project.
SAT in a report from Melbourne says, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszuk told newspersons that she had received an “ironclad” guarantee from Gautam Adani during her meeting with him that there will be “no foreign workers brought under the 457 visas for the $ 16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine project.”
Pointing out that “there is no written agreement on it”, SAT says, “The Queensland Premier announced this after a meeting with the Adani Group boss in Townsville.”
Gautam Adani, considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier had a meeting the Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull at a private meeting in Melbourne and briefed him project details.
Meanwhile, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports that Queensland opposition leader Tim Nicholls said, written assurances about the decision not to bring any foreign workers for the project “would be preferable.”
“The Premier has said she takes Adani at this word and that’s fine, but I would have thought it would have been better to assure Queenslanders that we had some written commitments that jobs from this project will go to Queenslanders,” Nicholls has been quoted as saying.
In a related development, the Adani Group has announced that five regional towns will provide vital support services for the projects. In a media release, the Chief Executive of Adani Australian, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said, Emerald, Clermont, Moranbah, Collinsville and Charters Towers would be “the source of support services, including workers for its projects.”
“We are particularly focusing on the construction of our planned near-400km rail line to be constructed between the Carmichael mine and our bulk port facility at Abbott Point near Bowen,” Janakaraj said.
“So we need people and services in the region to build that rail link, as well as companies to provide resources.”
“The provision of goods, services and labour from the regional towns would be supplemented by Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville”, Janakarajan said, adding, “Townsville would be the site of the regional headquarters for the Carmichael coal mine project.”
Janakaraj also said that Townsville would also be home base for the company’s project management office, and provide port services for incoming materials. The original plan of the company was to have the project offices in Brisbane, one of the biggest cities of Australia.
Gautam Adani’s assurances to the country’s authorities came following the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)-sponsored rally in Melbourne (click HERE) against the coal mining project. ACF called the decision to allow the project to go ahead a “dirty deal”.
It said, “This coal mine would be a global climate catastrophe. It is dangerous to our planet and the people and places we love. Australians don’t want this mine, we want our reef and a clean, safe future.”
Hitting out at Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, the environmental group said, he has “a clear choice – honour an iron clad election promise or do a dirty deal with Adani to use Australian taxpayers’ money to fund a coal-carting railway line from the Galilee Basin to the Great Barrier Reef coast.”
Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, which has opposed the project for long, said, it would file a fresh court action against the proposed project, regretting the Adani Group chairman did not meet them.

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