Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

False promises about Adani coal project have sucked in Queensland Premier and Townsville Mayor

Not that it was in writing. The only assurance Queenslanders truly had was a photo of a handshake. The premier ought to have stopped there, but she kept going.
For a premier under pressure to create jobs in a state with a population of 4.6 million, of whom more than 160,000 were unemployed in May this year, supporting a coalmine that will see job losses from elsewhere seems a serious folly.
the myriad companies that make up the Adani conglomerate make it nearly impossible to follow the money. What tax on profits will be paid in Australia? How much will be siphoned off to Adani’s “marketing hub” in Singapore and the Adani family company in the Cayman Islands?
Revealed: Gautam Adani’s coal play in the state facing global-warming hell  The extraction of mammoth coal deposits in Queensland’s Galilee Basin will only exacerbate climate change. Who supports the mines – and why? The Age, Anna Krien, 9 June 17  “…….
It was December 2016 when Gautam Adani flew into Townsville to meet Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the city’s mayor, Jenny Hill. Yes, there was some animosity: a couple of hundred people gathered on the foreshore to protest against Adani’s proposed coal mega-mine, and two native-title owners, Carol Prior and Ken Dodd, were also on his trail.
But for the nation’s kingmakers, Adani may as well be Midas. That very morning he had nipped down to Melbourne to meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss the Coalition’s “conditional” offer to chip in a $1 billion loan to his project. After the meeting in the Townsville City Council chambers, there was the obligatory handshake photo with the Queensland premier, and then he was gone – a “fly-in, fly-out” billionaire.

“You can’t get the smile off my face,” Annastacia Palaszczuk told the gathered reporters. Townsville was going to be the base for Adani’s regional headquarters and remote operations centre. But there was more. Palaszczuk continued: “I’m pleased to announce today, that following the meeting, I have got an iron-clad guarantee from Mr Adani that there will be no 457 visas as part of the workforce for this major project. I secondly have a guarantee of a Queensland-first policy for jobs and especially for regional Queensland.”

Not that it was in writing. The only assurance Queenslanders truly had was a photo of a handshake. The premier ought to have stopped there, but she kept going. The project, she said, would generate 10,000 jobs. “The life of this project will be anywhere between 50 and 60 years.”

In 2013, a television commercial for Adani Australia was broadcast across the state. A warm European woman’s voice asked, “What does Adani mean to Queensland? A fresh stake in the global economy …Adani means 10,000 jobs for Queensland workers [cue image of young man in hi-vis vest unspooling cables, smiling boyishly] … Adani means $22 billion in royalties and taxes invested back into Queensland communities [cue hospital corridor and stretchers].”

Here’s hoping Palaszczuk doesn’t pin all her policies on the commercials she watches. Is it possible she is unaware of evidence given under oath by Adani’s own hand-picked expert, Jerome Fahrer, in the Queensland Land Court? A former Reserve Bank economist, Dr Fahrer works for consulting firm ACIL Allen, contracted by Adani to analyse the mine project’s numbers. Fahrer was critical of Adani’s previous consultants.

The figure of 10,000, he told the court, was “extreme and unrealistic”. At the peak of construction, Dr Fahrer estimated, there would be about 2400 workers. But there was a catch. He found that these jobs would come at the expense of around 1500 jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, and from other mines. This is important. For a premier under pressure to create jobs in a state with a population of 4.6 million, of whom more than 160,000 were unemployed in May this year, supporting a coalmine that will see job losses from elsewhere seems a serious folly. Overall, Fahrer said the Adani mine and railway would create “on average around 1464 employee years of full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs”. In other words, a drop in the ocean. Supporters of the project are quick to point out that Fahrer did not include jobs associated with the port expansion at Abbot Point; however, Rod Campbell of The Australia Institute noted in The Australian that a large coal port expansion in Newcastle was expected to create no more than 80 jobs.

……. the myriad companies that make up the Adani conglomerate make it nearly impossible to follow the money. What tax on profits will be paid in Australia? How much will be siphoned off to Adani’s “marketing hub” in Singapore and the Adani family company in the Cayman Islands?…….

The coal seam would, when burned, blow up to one-tenth of the world’s total carbon budget – the amount scientists say we have left if we want to stop at 2 degrees Celsius of warming (see breakout).

In their way, holding the line, are a scattering of traditional owners and a grazier. Behind them is a vast network of willing activist bodies, conservation groups, academics and marine scientists.

The stage is set…….

I asked Hill about her moral responsibility to future generations of Townsville residents if the demise of the Great Barrier Reef is unchecked. In 2013, the federal government released a study on the Great Barrier Reef’s contribution to Australia’s economy. It found the reef generated 69,000 jobs and $5.68 billion in annual turnover in 2011-12…….

Life, according to Hill, would be breathed back into Townsville through two projects….The second life-giving source was Adani. “We need Adani,” Hill told me. “It’s the next big thing.”…….http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/adani-how-we-got-conned-by-coal-20170525-gwcw5h.html

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June 11, 2017 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, employment, Queensland

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