Australian news, and some related international items

Adani coal mine could become a massive stranded asset, lawyers warn

Loaning $900m for Adani’s central Queensland coal railway too risky, environmental lawyers say   The World Today  By Katherine Gregory Environmental lawyers have warned directors of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to not fund Adani’s proposed coal railway in central Queensland because it is in breach of their duties.

Key points:

  • Environmental Justice Australia writes to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, calling for its directors to not fund Adani’s coal railway
  • Lawyer says taxpayers exposed to financial risk if $900 million is loaned
  • Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan calls letter a bullying tactic

Indian coal miner Adani has been seeking a $900-million loan to build the railway line from its proposed mine site in the Galilee Basin to the Abbot Point coal port.

Not-for-profit legal group Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) said the Federal Government’s NAIF directors need to consider the financial risks associated with climate change and he warned the investment was not commercially viable.

Environmental lawyer David Barnden said EJA sent a letter to NAIF’s directors on Tuesday outlining the duty.  “The risks to the Adani rail project in the Galilee basin are too great,” Mr Barnden said.

“And there is a massive risk of it being a stranded asset and we think that if NAIF officials are to comply with their duties, then they cannot fund it.”

Mr Barnden said the directors were bound by statutory duties, according to the public governance and performance accountability act, which all Commonwealth public officials need to comply with.He said if they do decide to use taxpayer funds for Adani’s project, then “it would be a breach of law and a breach of a legal standard”.

Mr Barnden also said the Australian taxpayer would also be exposed to financial risk if NAIF decided to fund the project. “If there is no market for this coal, there’ll be no payment to the rail project and project couldn’t replay any loan to it,” Mr Barnden said.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) commissioned the environmental lawyers’ advice on the issue.

The ACF has been using all avenues, including legal options, to stop Adani’s coal mine, fearing it will contribute to climate change and also further damage the Great Barrier Reef……say$900m-loan-too-risky/8439582  


April 14, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Queensland

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