Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

THE AUSTRALIAN reports on Queensland’s long drought (not a mention of climate change)

Farmers in distress as devastating drought enters its sixth year  The Australian, RICK MORTON, Social Affairs reporter, Sydney @SquigglyRick

Almost five years after drought was last officially declared in Queensland, two-thirds of the state, or 120 million hectares, is in the grip of a dry so long and grinding that many who can afford to have forgotten it even exists.

At the end of last year, 35 council areas in the state remained wholly drought declared — some since April in 2013 — affecting thousands of beef and sheep ­stations, farms and other agricultural businesses.

Take Audrey Stone, a beef ­cattle property in Queensland’s central-west. It would be easy, owner Brett Wehl says, to sit back and believe it is the driest place on the continent.

The Wehl family homestead, about 40km northwest of Barcaldine, sits among a flat moonscape filled only with choking acacia bushes and tumbleweeds. The 6070ha property has run about 1000 head of cattle in the past but there are just 20 on it now.

Others have it worse, some have it better, but playing that game will drive a person mad, Mr Wehl says.

At the end of last year, precisely two-thirds of Queensland remained drought-declared with much of this officially in drought for four years and counting.

The state government has handed out $140m in drought assistance in that time. The proportion of the state affected has fallen from 87 per cent at the beginning of last year but thousands of farmers and graziers are still in its grip.

The public has largely moved on, however, and families have been left behind to eke out an existence in the regions…….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/farmers-in-distress-as-devastating-drought-enters-its-sixth-year/news-story/0f479b80d90d53fcf8360cd2c99a11ee

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January 14, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani coal megamine is not viable: why do they persist with it?

The Numbers Don’t Stack Up: W&J’s Rights on the Chopping Block for Adani’s ‘Non Viable’ Project, New Matilda,  By John Quiggin on Adani Changes its Plans

In the context of shifting policy settings and coal markets, Adani has changed its plans. The original Adani proposal involved production of 60 million tonnes of coal from W&J Country in the Galilee Basin, and with an expected life of 90 years.

This was at first downgraded to 40 million tonnes of coal by 2022, with an expected life of 60 years, and then further reduced to 25 million tonnes of coal.

This revised so-called ‘Stage 1’ project would defer expansion of the Abbot Point terminal, alongside establishment of an initial, smaller mine.

Given the very unlikely possibility that coal will actually be in demand for electricity generation beyond 2050, the difference in duration is immaterial. However, these reductions in scale do have important implications for the viability of the rail line.

Capital investment for the life of the original mine project was expected to total US $21.5 billion. This total figure continues to be regularly cited, despite the significant downsizing that has since occurred.

Adani has, to date, invested approximately US $3.5 billion in this project, of which approximately US $2.1 billion financed the purchase of the Abbot Point T1 coal terminal. The remainder was associated with the acquisition of the Carmichael mine site.

A large portion of Adani’s total investment is what economists like to call ‘sunk’: that is, it is investment that would be written off if the Carmichael mine project failed to proceed. The only terms in which Adani could recoup these funds was if it could find a buyer for its assets. Adani’s unwillingness to write off such a large investment is likely one reason it has persisted with the project.

But the Numbers Don’t Stack Up

With its new scaled down project proposal, alongside global coal price fluctuations and the very real market access challenges in India, and elsewhere, just how do Adani’s numbers stack up?

Let’s start with estimates on the sale price for Carmichael coal.

As of October 2017, the price of Australian thermal coal was approximately $US97/tonne. Futures markets predict a decline in this price over coming years. Reflecting this trend, the futures price for delivery in February 2020, a possible start date for shipments from the project, is $US81/tonne.

However, Tim Buckley of IEEFA has estimated that the lower quality of the Carmichael mine’s coal output will result in a 30 per cent discount in revenue per tonne.

On this basis, the price of coal from the Carmichael mine – assuming exports begin in 2020 – will deliver just $A74 tonne.

But what will it cost to produce?

In its original analysis, Adani – based on advice from McCullough Robertson in January 2015 – estimated costs of US $38.70/tonne, although other analyses suggest the cost may be higher. Significantly, this figure does not include the costs of rail transport and ship loading. And of course, such figures fail to capture the environmental costs of Adani’s proposed mega mine nor do they measure the irreplaceable loss of Country for Traditional Owners if this mine were to proceed.

Putting these ‘externalities’ aside, this suggests a cost of A $50/tonne in 2015, or $A55, updating for inflation at an annual rate of 2 per cent.

Based on these figures, the price for Carmichael coal – net of all operational costs – would be approximately $10/tonne. If royalties were paid at the standard rate, the net return would be just $3/tonne. That’s a very small return for the destruction of Country and walk over of Traditional Owners rights………..

 

If It’s Not Viable, Why Would the Project Proceed?

The analysis above shows that, even under highly favourable assumptions, the Adani Carmichael project will be unable to generate sufficient returns to cover interest at commercial rates, or to repay capital to lenders and investors.

This analysis therefore raises the question; why does Adani Enterprises choose to proceed with such a project?

Three possible answers present themselves.

The first is that Adani does not in fact intend to proceed with the project in the near future. Rather, the project is being kept alive with relatively modest expenditure to avoid writing off the large amounts already invested, and to maintain an option in the hope that ‘something will turn up’, such as an unexpected and sustained increase in the price Adani can realize for coal.

A second hypothesis is that the complexity of the Adani corporate structure is such that Adani could construct the proposed rail line almost entirely with public funds provided on concessional terms, then hope that other coal mines in the Basin would render it profitable.

The apparent transfer of ownership of the rail project to an Adani-controlled company in the Cayman Islands supports this idea.

A third possibility, is that by making continuous new demands on governments for concessions of various kinds, Adani will eventually be able to blame government policy for the project’s failure, and on this basis extract compensation. If this is the strategy, it has so far been foiled by the abject compliance of governments at all levels.

The Adani mine-rail-port project is not commercially viable, even under the most optimistic assumptions. That Adani has failed to achieve final close reflects the dubious economics on which this project is based

While much remains obscure, it is clear that any public funds advanced to the project – a project that does not have the consent of the Traditional Owners – will be at high risk of loss.

There is no future for exploitative developmentalism. The economy of the future will depend on sustainable management of resources, a task in which Indigenous communities must play a central role.

This follows the general (though not universal) recognition of the principle, following the Mabo decision, that Indigenous people have the right to play a role in determining the appropriate use of their land.

But this is not simply a nice ideal that will come about through sensible public policy development. This is a brutal contest for land and resources that started with colonisation.

W&J claimants fighting the State Government, Adani and their backers, are at the leading edge of this contest and the latest in the long historical land grab in Australia. https://newmatilda.com/2017/12/24/the-numbers-dont-stack-up-wjs-rights-on-the-chopping-block-for-adanis-non-viable-project/

December 29, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani struggles to get funding for coal megamine, ends $2bn deal to outsource project

Adani scraps $2bn deal to outsource Carmichael coalmine operation
Decision to end Downer EDI agreement follows Palaszczuk government’s blocking of federal loan for the Queensland project, Guardian, 19 Dec  17
Adani has blamed the Queensland government’s decision to kill off a taxpayer-funded loan for its decision to ditch a $2 billion agreement with a major contractor.

But the Indian miner says it remains committed to building its controversial Carmichael coalmine and the decision to part ways with Downer EDI has no bearing on that.

Adani had intended to outsource the operation of its Carmichael mine to Downer under an agreement that was worth $2bn at the time of its announcement in 2014, but now says it will run the mine itself.

It made pointed references to the Palaszczuk government’s loan veto and the need to keep production costs down in announcing the “mutual” split with Downer……

Anti-Adani protesters, who have targeted Downer over its involvement in the project, say it’s a welcome blow.

“Downer walking away from Adani is the biggest nail in the coffin for the Carmichael mine thus far. Adani are unlikely to find another Australian company willing to risk building and operating such a controversial mine,” Galilee Blockade spokesman Ben Pennings said.

“Adani have never operated a mine of this scale and have absolutely no experience operating mines in Australia.”

The very first act of Queensland’s newly re-elected Labor government was to make good on its election promise to veto a loan to Adani of up to $1bn from the federal Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund (Naif).

The government has said it backs the mine and wants the jobs it will create, but also says the project must be viable without taxpayer funds, including federal funds.

Adani is yet to secure funding for mine. Earlier this month, Chinese lenders ruled out providing finance, joining Australia’s big four banks in avoiding the controversial project……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/18/adani-scraps-2bn-deal-to-outsource-carmichael-coalmine-operation

December 20, 2017 Posted by | business, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland Premier’s first act will be to veto Adani railway line loan

Annastacia Palaszczuk to officially veto Adani railway loan after swearing in

Letter confirming veto will be sent to Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal National party elects new leadership team, Guardian, Amy Remeikis, 12 Dec 17, The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, will move to officially veto any loan to the Indian mining company Adani from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, as soon as she and her new government are sworn into office.

After almost two weeks of vote-counting, Labor was declared the winner of the 25 November poll on Friday, returning to parliament with a majority for the first time under Palaszczuk’s leadership.

A letter confirming the Adani veto, which marked a turning point in Labor’s campaign, will be sent to the prime minister immediately after Queensland’s governor swears in the new state government on Tuesday……

The move to veto the Naif loan has frustrated the federal government, particularly the minister for resources and northern Australia, Matt Canavan, who last week told News Corp the Queensland government decision was motivated by “xenophobia” and “racisim”, comments Bill Shorten’s office labelled “unhinged”…….

She further vowed to stop all direct taxpayer funds going to the mine and its associated infrastructure……. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/12/annastacia-palaszczuk-to-officially-veto-adani-railway-loan-after-swearing-in

December 12, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

 Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Labor Govt

New Queensland polling released showing support for mine delay wanganjagalingou.com.au/wj-make-demands-of-new-labor-govt-on-adani/  ‘Brisbane, 8 December 2017. 

‘With the announcement of a new majority Qld Labor government, and
with the National Native Title Tribunal set to decide today whether to register Adani’s sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement,
the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have presented a clear set of demands.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said,

‘“Our fight to protect our country and heritage will continue until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledges
that we are the people from that land, and Adani does not have the consent it requires from us for this destructive mine.

‘“We call on the Palaszczuk Government to stand up for our rights and not the interests of Adani.
We have written to our more than 100,000 supporters in the wider community this morning,
asking them to press the Premier and Deputy Premier to demand that the returned Palaszczuk Government –

‘acknowledge that Adani and the Queensland Government do not have the consent of W&J Traditional Owners for the Carmichael mine
remove Queensland’s ‘signature’ from Adani’s contested Indigenous Land Use Agreement
rule out extinguishing Native Title to allow Adani to proceed, even if the ILUA is registered by the NNTT
stop opposing the rightful W&J Traditional Owners in court and wait for all our cases to be heard, and
end Adani’s special treatment – which will enable the destruction of W&J country and heritage – including keeping the Premier’s election promise to veto Adani’s $1BN taxpayer-funded loan”’

‘“This follows an an authorisation meeting of our Claim Group on 2 December at which,
for the fourth time since 2012, our people voted unanimously to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani. … ‘

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Having won the Queensland election, Annastacia Palaszczuk will be vetoing the Adani coal megamine

Annastacia Palaszczuk finally wins Qld election
The veto of a federal loan for Adani’s controversial $16.5 billion Carmichael mine will be one of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s first jobs once her government is sworn in she says…. (subscribers only)
http://www.afr.com/news/politics/annastacia-palaszczuk-finally-wins-qld-election-after-tim-nicholls-concedes-20171207-h015mi

December 9, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani coal project in a financial pickle, as Australian and Chinese banks refuse funding

Is this the end of the road for Adani’s Australian megamine?
Australian and Chinese banks have turned it down, and analysts say Adani’s failure to secure funding for the Carmichael mine leaves it high and dry
, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 7 Dec 17 , Adani’s operations in Australia appear to be hanging on by a thread, as activists prove effective at undermining the company’s chances of getting the finance it needs.

China seems to have ruled out funding for the mine, which means it’s not just Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine that is under threat, but also its existing Abbot Point coal terminal, which sits near Bowen, behind the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign against the mine has been long. Environmentalists first tried to use Australia’s environmental laws to block it from going ahead, and then failing that, focused on pressuring financial institutions, first here, and then around the world.

The news that Beijing has left Adani out to dry comes as on-the-ground protests against construction of the mine pick up. Two Greens MPs, Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker, have been arrested in Queensland for disrupting the company’s activities.

Is China’s move the end of the road for Adani’s mega coalmine in Australia, and will the Adani Group be left with billions of dollars in stranded assets?

Environmental laws fail to halt mine

Despite the mine threatening to destroy some of the best remaining habitat of threatened species of birds and lizards, federal environmental laws proved unable to stop the mine in the face of a government that wanted it to go ahead.

The initial federal approval for the mine was overturned after it was revealed the then-minister for the environment, Greg Hunt, had ignored his own department’s advice about the mine’s impact on two vulnerable species, the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

But Australia’s environmental law leaves very little opportunity for challenging the merits of a minister’s decision – it only allows for challenges on whether those decisions considered everything required by the law. As a result, the minister needed only approve it again, after formally considering the impact on the two species.

Another court challenge argued the approval was invalid because the emissions caused by the mine – which would be greater than those of New York City – were a threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Hunt argued in court, successfully, that there was no definite link between coal from Adani mine and climate change.

It became apparent Australia’s environmental laws were unable to stop a project like this if the government of the day was determined to push it through……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-adanis-australian-megamine

December 8, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Greens Members of Parliament arrested at anti Adani coal mine protest

Greens MPs arrested and fined at Adani protest, as Indian miner is referred to consumer watchdog, The New Daily 6 Nov 17,  Two NSW Greens MPs have been arrested and fined for protesting against the proposed Adani Carmichael coalmine, while another front was opened in the long-running battle against the development.

Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker were among 17 people arrested on Wednesday morning for trespassing at the controversial site, 270 kilometres west of Bowen in Queensland.

Mr Buckingham and Ms Walker were fined $250 each after being issued with a police infringement notice for trespassing unlawfully at a place of business.

“I’m proud to stand with activists in defence of climate and country, and respect all those people around Australia and internationally who want to stop the Adani coal project,” Mr Buckingham said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Although we are MPs from NSW this is an issue of national and international significance. Adani represents a line in the sand for all those concerned about climate change who do not want to see a new coal precinct opened up in Australia.”

Ms Walker said the proposal was “tearing Indigenous communities apart” and was offering “a sub standard agreement to traditional owners for their land”.

About 5am on Wednesday, Queensland Police were alerted that 35 people were blockading the railway construction site near the proposed mine.

Fourteen protesters entered the site and climbed onto vehicles and machinery about 6am, a police spokesman told The New Daily.

A woman in her 60s locked herself to a boundary gate with a metal bike lock around her neck. Police were working to remove her.

Seventeen people were arrested for trespass and failure to comply with direction. Nine of those people were issued with infringement notices after moving on.

Eight people continued to fail to comply and they remained under arrest on Wednesday afternoon……    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/qld/2017/12/06/adani-greens-mps-arrested-accc/ 

December 8, 2017 Posted by | legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Ipswich residents not all taken in by the pro nuclear hype

Community responds to calls for nuclear power generation https://www.qt.com.au/news/community-responds-to-calls-for-nuclear-power-gene/3281718/ by Hayden Johnson

December 6, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Salesman for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) says Ipswich, Queensland, should have them operating by 2030

Ipswich ‘ticks the boxes’ for nuclear revolution, https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswich-ticks-the-boxes-for-nuclear-revolution/3281160/  by Hayden Johnson, 4 Dec 17  THE Ipswich region is well-suited to become the home of one of Australia’s first nuclear reactors according to an energy executive who wants the community to lobby for its construction.

As the nation’s energy future remains at the forefront of federal political discourse, SMR Nuclear Technology has reignited the nuclear debate. Robert Pritchard serves as chairman of the board at SMR Nuclear Technology and is executive director of the Energy Policy Institute. He is calling for communities across Australia to consider whether nuclear power could be generated in their area.

“Ipswich ticks the box. “Places like Ipswich, Mt Isa, Broken Hill, Olympic Dam in South Australia, somewhere up in the Pilbara – there are lots of places where this makes all sorts of sense in 10 years’ time.”

Mr Pritchard said the station would not be built tomorrow, but called for the community to envisage the future. “The first one that would ever operate would not operate until 2030 – you’ve got 13 years,” he said.

“We’ve got the timeline mapped out as to what would happen in those 13 years but the work has to start now. Where you start is not with the technology – that’s a given – you’ve got to start with the community support.”

Mr Pritchard said there was a growing interest in nuclear generation across the community, which would be vital to its future……..

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann dismissed the call.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of Ipswich to have a nuclear power plant on the banks of the Bremer River,” he said.

“It’s got to be renewables – solar, wind and geo-thermal energy.”

He said the nation was moving away from a high-emissions-intensity economy towards a green future.

“I’ve come to the conclusion a long time ago, as far as I’m concerned, not for our future here,” he said.

The strong opposition from the Member for Blair does not discourage Mr Pritchard, who, although encouraged politicians to keep an open mind, said it was up to the people to decide. “I think this is going to capture the public’s imagination, mainly because it’s not being pushed by politicians,” he said.”If the community doesn’t want it, we’re not going to have it, that’s the end of the story,” he said.The energy policy executive said it was a matter of; “fly the kite and see what happens”.

 

Mr Neumann was “convinced” the majority of residents in Ipswich would be opposed to nuclear generation technology.

Mr Pritchard said it would take the community time to learn about nuclear power generation.

He pledged to set up a series of meetings around the country where people were expressing serious interest.”What we want to do over the next little while is start these dialogues with community people,” he said.”You’re not going to push anything down people’s throats – people just won’t cop that.”The vast majority of people will be interested.” revolution, https://www.qt.com.au/news/ipswich-ticks-the-boxes-for-nuclear-revolution/3281160/ 

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Adani mine: Traditional owners aiming to block native title ruling on mine site

ABC News, By Josh Robertson and Isobel Roe 4 Dec 17, A group of traditional owners fighting Adani’s central Queensland coal mine have filed a court injunction against both the mine owner and the Queensland Government, hoping to prevent a National Native Title Tribunal decision on the Carmichael mine site. The legal fate of Australia’s largest proposed coal mine hinges on the tribunal registering an Indigenous land use agreement (ILUA).

After months of pressure from Adani, it is understood the tribunal has moved to fast-track its ruling and was due to hand down its decision some time this week.

The move shocked mine opponents within the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners, who fear having a huge swathe of their native title claim on Galilee Basin country irreversibly struck down before the Federal Court can rule on a separate challenge to the validity of the ILUA.

Some W&J claimants have alleged in the Federal Court that Adani paid certain people $2,000 to attend a meeting and vote in favour of a compensation deal that would allow the coal mine to go ahead.

Speaking in Brisbane on Sunday for the W&J group opposed to the mine, Adrian Burragubba said they were determined to stop the tribunal handing down a decision ahead of the court ruling…… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-03/adani-mine-traditional-owners-want-to-block-native-title-ruling/9221256

December 4, 2017 Posted by | legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Report finds that Aboriginal landowners would get little benefit from Adani’s coal mine expansion

Adani’s compensation for traditional owners ‘well below’ industry standard, report finds, ABC News 1 Dec 17, By Josh Robertson A hotly contested deal between Adani and traditional owners of its proposed Carmichael mine site in Queensland’s Galilee Basin would deliver compensation “well below” what most big miners pay, according to a new analysis.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people would only get 0.2 per cent of Adani’s earnings from the mine, less than half the industry average, respected mining industry outfit Economics Consulting Services has found.

Its report, obtained by the ABC, was commissioned by six W&J representatives whose looming court challenge to the deal stands as the final legal hurdle to Adani’s contentious mega-mine.

It found the W&J people would earn up to $145 million over 30 years, out of the project’s estimated $77.4 billion in gross revenue, a share which was “well below industry benchmark standards”.

The benchmarks for such deals usually ranged from 0.75 per cent to 0.35 per cent.

Only 11 per cent of the deal would come to the W&J people in cash, up to $17.4 million over 30 years, or about $2,300 a year per adult member of the clan.

Report author Murray Meaton, who was awarded an Order of Australia in 2014 for services to the mining industry, found the benefits to the W&J people would be “dramatically lower” if job promises for locals fell short as they did “in most jurisdictions and agreements”.

Traditional owners divided

To gain finance for the $21 billion project, Adani needs an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the W&J people, or it must call on the Queensland Government to forcibly extinguish any native title claim over the mine site in the Galilee Basin.

After almost six years of vexed negotiations with Adani, the W&J representative group is evenly split over the deal.

The Indigenous group twice rejected Adani in 2012 and 2014 before seven of 12 W&J representatives swung their support behind the miner last year.

But Adani lost majority support in June when one representative changed heart, sending the group into deadlock after the ILUA was allegedly authorised in a meeting funded by Adani……… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-01/adani-compensation-well-below-industry-standard-report-finds/9212058

December 1, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Support for Adani coal mine damaged Liberal-Nationals in Queensland election

Queensland election: how Adani helped undo the LNP’s push to regain power
Exit polls in the state’s south-east found up to 70% of respondents were against the billion-dollar rail line loan for Adani,
Guardian, Amy Remeikis, 27 Nov 17, It was the sleeper issue that ended up dominating the Queensland election campaign – and, in the end, activists believed, may have saved government for Labor.

Labor sits the closest to the majority needed to take government in Queensland, 47 seats, after receiving gains in the south-east, largely helped by a drop in support for the Liberal National party.

Among those were Maiwar, the electorate held by the shadow treasurer, Scott Emerson, who looks to have lost largely due to Greens preferences, along with other LNP-held inner-city seats such as Mount Ommaney and Mansfield, which both look to have fallen to Labor.

Exit polls commissioned by GetUp in those electorates found up to 70% of respondents were against the billion-dollar rail line loan for Adani, while another 30% said Labor’s decision to veto the loan helped decide how they would vote.

“We already know the majority of voters from every single party at play opposed the Naif loan, including LNP and One Nation voters,” the GetUp environmental justice director, Sam Regester, told Guardian Australia. “Taking a stronger position against Adani clearly contributed to the swing in south-east Queensland. Just as tellingly, Labor held on to the regional seats that folks like conservative analysts predicted would fall because of the veto.”…….

Regester said that..voters in the south-east, particularly, saw a point of difference.

“The strong showing of the Greens, particularly in south Brisbane and Maiwar, showed more than anything the value of having the clearest, strongest policy on Adani,” he said. “ For most of the last term of government, the two major parties were equally bad on this key issue, so it’s no wonder they picked up a swag of votes.

“Labor was able to offset this somewhat with the Naif veto but this election made it clear that the Greens can be a threat to both major parties when they’re not up to scratch, particularly on Adani.”……..

Under the Naif rules, the states need to give approval for the loan. On Sunday, Palaszczuk confirmed she would stand by the veto decision. She also committed Labor to not allowing any taxpayer funds to flow to the mine, or its associated infrastructure, although has refused to give details of the royalty holiday granted to Adani, worth about $350m, which she said would be paid back with interest.

“We will veto the loan, they said on the 6th of June that they had the green light that they would build the mine and the rail line and we expect them to get on with it,” a Palaszczuk spokesman said.

The future of Adani now rests on whether it can receive financing to begin construction in the Galilee Basin, with some reports it may be close to securing Chinese money to open the mine. That has the potential to create another issue for the Queensland government, be it the LNP or Labor, as both have said they remain in support of the mine for the jobs it will create, with the Chinese funds potentially coming with Chinese labourer and steel strings attached.

GetUp have not finished fighting the project and Regester said Labor’s position was “still nowhere good enough” and a potential issue for the next federal election.

“After watching Adani dominate the state election, there will be folks in federal Labor keen to not see the next federal election nearly de-railed in the same way,” Regester said. “It’s in their interest to get on the right side of this extraordinary movement and oppose the entire Adani [mine] outright. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/27/queensland-election-how-adani-helped-undo-the-lnps-push-to-regain-power

November 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland election is critical for solar energy, and for electricity consumers

Queensland poll could be a show-stopper for solar, and consumers http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-poll-could-be-a-show-stopper-for-solar-and-consumers-11958/ By Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath on 24 November 2017 Dirty versus clean; old versus the new; fossil fuels verses renewables; expensive energy versus cheap. There has rarely been so much at stake for an industry as there is in Saturday’s state election in Queensland, and the result is far from clear.

Current polling from Galaxy puts the ALP on track to win the required 47 seats for a majority, but as the Brisbane Courier-Mail reports, this will hinge on a number of factors, including unpredictable preference flows from One Nation supporters.

As at the federal level, politics in Queensland has been heavily focused on energy in the run-up to Saturday’s poll.

The Labor Palaszczuk government – which has a 50 per cent RET by 2030 for the state – has been campaigning strongly around renewables, with a particular focus on increasing rooftop solar uptakeas a way to cut power costs for businesses and homes around the state.

The new policies, launched in late October as part of the Palaszczuk government’s $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, will offer no-interest loans to consumers wishing to invest in rooftop solar and battery storage, but lacking the up-front capital to do so.

They will also work to give landlords and renters equal access to solar, through a trial initially involving 1000 rental households. Queensland energy minister Mark Bailey said the rental solar scheme had the potential to save tenants up to 10 per cent off their annual bill, or up to $150 a year, while landlords could get a rebate of up to $520 per year.

On large-scale renewables,  as we reported here, Labor, has promised to follow through on a program already underway to underwrite 400MW of renewable energy projects.

Following on from this, it has committed to support a further 1000MW of renewable energy projects via a new government power company; and to look to construct new transmission infrastructure in Northern Queensland that would unlock a vast new province of wind, solar and hydro power projects.

On the other side of the political divide, the LNP conservative coalition that is seeking to replace the current Labor government has made its intentions on energy clear: the end of renewables incentives; government money for a new coal generator in north Queensland; and support for the Adani coal mine.

The LNP is also claiming a huge reduction in consumer bills: $160 a year for two years, followed by savings of up to $460 a year in 2020.

But this is largely a mirage, as energy analyst Hugh Grant has pointed out. He noted that the only parties with policies that would deliver price reductions were the Greens, and Labor.

Not that Queenslanders got to read about that anywhere – apart from RenewEconomy, the local media refused to publish the results, as Michael West points out in this piece.

In the Conservative corner in the fight for new coal is federal minister for resources and northern Australia, Matt Canavan, who – recently restored to his portfolio – is as keen as ever to use the federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to help fund a new coal-fired power plant in Queensland’s north, as well as to get the Adani coal mine and port project off the ground.

One Nation is also keen to build a coal-fired power station west of Townsville, with party leader Pauline Hanson pledging to commit $1.5 billion to the project, which she wants built in Collinsville – a former coal hub of the state that is more recently turning to large-scale solar.

In fact, according to data gathered for RE’s Renewable Energy Index, the North Queensland region has more power generating capacity under construction than the entire state of NSW, and almost as much as Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia combined.

Meanwhile, Queensland home and business owners are leading the country – which in turn is leading the world – in rooftop solar uptake.

A Climate Council report last month showed that almost one third (31.6 per cent) of all Queensland homes now have solar panels, which puts the state ahead of South Australia, at 30.5 per cent, and Western Australia at 25.4 per cent.

What’s more, there are 14 postcodes in the Sunshine State alone where more than 50 per cent of households have rooftop solar, including the the Moreton Bay region town of Elimbah, where an impressive 63 per cent of homes have PV panels on their roofs.

The Australian Solar Council – newly rebranded as the Smart Energy Council – aren’t resting on their laurels, though. The peak solar industry body is spooked enough about a possible LNP victory that is has launched its own major election campaign, urging voters to put the Coalition last.

“Queensland voters face a stark choice at the election tomorrow,” the SEC said in an email to members on Friday:

“A new polluting coal-fired power station or a solar thermal plant providing 24-hour solar power; no new large-scale renewables and massive job losses or 1,000 megawatts of new large-scale renewable projects in regional Queensland; and a National Energy Guarantee that delivers the longest solar eclipse in history or sensible national energy policy.”

November 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Wangan and Jagalingou land – ruthlessly pursued by Indian coal corporation Adani Adani

no amount of corporate black washing – including Indigenous participation plans that champion strong and effective relationships between Adani and W&J, alongside jobs and traineeships – can hide Adani’s direct and immediate part in walking over the rights of Traditional Owners.

In the third in a five part series on the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine, Kristen Lyons looks at a deal struck between the miners and the local traditional owners, and why it just adds to the smell that pervades the entire project.

 Introduction

The Indian industrial conglomerate, Adani Enterprises – well known for environmental damage and human rights abuses at its project sites around the world, and built upon a complex business structure with tax havens in the Cayman Islands – entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of coal tenements in the Galilee Basin, in Central Queensland.

Despite its controversial back story, some of which has only come to light since approvals were granted for its Australian project, Adani quickly rose to become a poster child for the State Government, based on promises its Carmichael mine project would deliver jobs and economic growth for regional Queensland.

Managed by its domestic arm, Adani Mining Pty Ltd, over the following years it developed a project proposal that included a coalmine, as well as rail and port infrastructure, thereby opening up the massive Galilee Basin for coal exports.

With seven years gone since acquisition of the coal tenements, and marred by substantial project downsizing, Adani is yet to start construction of its mega mine. Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Councils’ (W&J) defiant opposition to Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine has been central to this delay; opposition that has, in itself, exposed the dirty deeds Adani is willing to perpetrate against Traditional Owners who seek to defend their right to say no to a mine that would destroy their country.

This article exposes some of Adani’s deeds, including its nefarious actions in reaching an ‘agreement’ with Traditional Owners, Continue reading

November 24, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment