Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Liberal Coalition govt cosying up to coal megaminer Adani

Adani met with environment department 40 times in six months
Coalition ‘holding Adani’s hand’ through mine approvals, Greens senator says,
Guardian, Lisa Cox and Ben Smee, Tue 11 Dec 2018 
 The federal environment department had 40 meetings in six months with Adani representatives to discuss the Carmichael coalmine project, according to responses to a Senate estimates committee.The department met Adani executives in person at the company’s Brisbane offices, as well as conducting teleconferences, on matters including Adani’s groundwater management plans, the mine’s progress and proposals for the management of the threatened black-throated finch.

The environment minister, Melissa Price, and energy minister, Angus Taylor, met the company once each in Canberra. The meetings occurred between 7 May and 7 November this year and were tabled by the department in response to questions on notice from the Greens senator Larissa Waters.

Waters had asked at an estimates hearing in October if the department, minister or assistant minister had “met with Adani representatives or lobbyists in the past six months”.

She said on Tuesday the number of meetings suggested the department was “holding Adani’s hand through the approvals process”.

The number of meetings was evidence of the “cosy relationship” Adani had with the federal government, Waters said.

“The environment department is supposed to be a regulator and protector of our environment yet it’s holding Adani’s hand through the approvals process to get this mega coalmine off the ground.

“It shouldn’t be facilitating the development of a new dirty coalmine, it should be standing up for the best interests of our people and planet.”

The company announced late last month it would self-finance its controversial coalmine but it still requires approvals from state and federal governments for its groundwater-dependent ecosystem management plan and its management plan for the black-throated finch before significant work can start at the site.

The Queensland government is also under renewed pressure to rule out two potential subsidies to Adani.

The Mackay Conservation group released polling of marginal central Queensland electorates on Tuesday that showed 60% of people oppose any form of government subsidy. Only 22% supported subsidies, and 18% were unsure.

An Australia Institute report has found a potential royalties deferment deal would effectively be a low-interest loan to Adani, worth up to $385m.

The report also looked at $100m in road upgrades being considered by the Queensland government. It analysed approval plans for the Carmichael mine and found Adani’s vehicles “would be nearly all of the traffic on the road”.

Researcher Tom Swann, the author of the report, said: “The Queensland government has said repeatedly that it will not provide taxpayer funds to Adani, but Queenslanders are on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars because of these deals.”

The state government’s public statements on Adani have been sceptical in recent weeks since the announcement it would self-fund a slimmed down version of Carmichael.

The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said last month, “We will believe it when we see it”.

The royalties deal, which has not yet been signed, was premised as support for the “first mover” in a coal basin……….


December 13, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: