Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Environmental groups call Adani investment "nod" for Aussie coalmine project cynical: "Private finance remains elusive"

By Our Representative
An alliance of 20 key Australian environmental groups has dismissed the news that Adani’s Board have made a new ‘investment decision’ for the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, Australia. “This so-called decision is a cynical exercise designed to attract a $1 billion loan from the Australian Government, with private finance continuing to remain elusive for Adani”, it said.
The Stop Adani Alliance, claiming to have the backing of over 1.5 million Australians, said, it “vows to keep fighting the mine.”
Alliance spokesperson and prominent businessman, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) President Geoff Cousins AM, said, “This is groundhog day. Adani has announced an ‘investment decision’ multiple times over the six years since it acquired this project proposal but it still floundering around trying to secure the finance it needs to obtain ‘financial close’.”
Cousins AM contended, “Adani is yet to lure any financial institutions willing to bankroll the project, which is proving hugely unpopular with the Australian public. Without this support and public subsidies, the heavily leveraged balance sheet of Adani Enterprises leaves no internal capacity to fund this A$5bn project proposal.”
“If the Australian government hands Adani $1 billion loan of public money for this destructive mine that will destroy our Reef, we will consider all avenues, including legal action, to stop it”, he added.
Julien Vincent, Executive Director of environmental finance group, Market Forces, said, “Adani still faces an uphill slog to secure finance for what is an unviable project. 23 banks have either distanced themselves publicly from coal export projects in Australia’s Galilee Basin, or introduced policies that prohibit financing Adani’s mine.”
Vincent added, “Global shifts towards clean energy and India’s move away from coal makes Adani’s project a dud prospect. No wonder no one will touch it.”
Sam Regester, Environmental Justice Co-Director at GetUp said, “The company may be looking to turn some soil but Adani, and its cheer squad in the Australian and Queensland governments, are not prepared for the massive backlash from Australians who understand this project is fundamentally wrong. We won’t stop until we stop Adani.”
“Membership of the Stop Adani Alliance is blooming and Stop Adani local groups are popping up like mushrooms, with over 160 local groups around the nation. We’ve had 380 public events to date, including 200 screenings of the ‘Guarding the Galilee’ documentary with over 100 more booked in.”
Larissa Baldwin, National Co-Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, said, “Neither the Queensland or Australian governments should allow Adani to ignore the rights of Indigenous people who’ve not consented to a mine which will destroy land and culture. The Government’s ‘Adani amendments’ to the Native Title Act are stalled in the Australian Senate because consultation with mob has been so shoddy. Putting mining rights before our land rights has got to stop.”
Maree Dibella, Co-ordinator of the North Queensland Conservation Council in Townsville said, “Just three weeks ago Adani announced it was suspending its final investment decision indefinitely in a move designed to force a royalty deal. Today they’re here in Townsville, cutting a ribbon to open their office, promising our community the world. How we can trust anything this company says?”
“The Queensland Government should be ashamed to stand by Adani today, having broken their promise of no backroom deals and no public funding for Adani by granting concessions in a secret royalty deal that may cost Queenslanders over $360 million”, Dibella added.

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