Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Sunshine Coast environment and population must not be put at risk by nuclear power stations

OUR SAY: Nuclear move not for Coast, Sunshine Coast Daily by CRAIG WARHURST, 6th Jul 2018 

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July 6, 2018 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Liberal National Party Queensland ‘s dead end pursuit of nuclear power for Australia

Stop flogging the dead horse of nuclear power
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/stop-flogging-the-dead-horse-of-nuclear-power/news-story/5925d0dc48f1a7ff7d6a9f90ae07533a, Terry Sweetman 6, 2018 
IN the eternal search for a headline, there are few things more predictable than political conventions.

They are places to air outlandish ideas that give the lower party ranks some illusion of influence and to float pet notions. They are also the place to flog dead horses. And there can be few horses more dead than the idea of nuclear power in Australia.

But undaunted by history, Ted O’Brien’s Fairfax branch of the Liberal National Party will urge the Federal Government to consider a nuclear power industry when it takes the floor at the LNP’s state convention beginning today.

Fortunately, the decisions of the convention are not binding on the Government and, I suspect, the suggestion will be allowed to die a natural death.

The problem for the proponents of nuclear power is that we’ve been down this track before and not all that long ago. In fact, we’ve been talking about nuclear power since 1952 when then South Australian premier Thomas Playford confidently proposed that one be built on the shores of Spencer Gulf. The next and probably most serious proposal was to build one on Commonwealth territory at Jervis Bay in 1969 but this idea went into meltdown when the locals got nervous and the unions got aggro.

Ted O’Brien’s Fairfax branch of the LNP will urge the Federal Government to consider nuclear power, despite the fact every party knows it could simply never happen.
And so it went on over the decades, with the idea intermittently erupting like a dyspeptic belch and then subsiding. It got almost serious in 2006 when Prime Minister John Howard was starting to accept at the very least the idea of containing emissions even if climate change was a bridge too far. He launched what he called a “full-blooded debate” and commissioned a report by former Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski who reckoned we could have the first nuclear reactor in Australia (he meant power stations as we already have a reactor) in as soon as 10 years. The headline was that we could have 25 nuclear stations producing a third of Australia’s electricity by 2050.

What took the fizz out of the fission was just where these 25 reactors would be built.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley and Kevin Rudd taunted Howard to name the sites but he refused to be drawn on specifics, leaving others to draw their own conclusions.

The four main criteria for the siting of nuclear power plants in Australian had generally been accepted as proximity to appropriate existing electricity infrastructure; proximity to major load centres (i.e. large centres of demand); proximity to transport infrastructure to facilitate the movement of nuclear fuel, waste and other relevant materials; and access to large quantities of water for cooling.

The Australia Institute took these criteria (plus a few others) and pinpointed 17 places that seemed to fit the bill. Seven of the prospective sites were in Queensland: Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island. (The Sunshine Coast sites are in the seat of Fairfax and Bribie is in Longman, where a crucial by-election is being fought and the LNP quite possibly could do without this distraction.)

The Australian Institute is routinely disparaged as “left leaning” but I saw nothing then or since to challenge its conclusions on prospective nuclear sites.

The earthquake and tsunami in the Miyagi prefecture in Japan sparked a nuclear disaster in 2011.
In 2006 the Institute reckoned about half of the population opposed nuclear energy and “two thirds say they could opposed a nuclear power plant in their local area’’. If the nuclear industry was still looking at the same backyards, it is reasonable to presume it would come up against the same public sentiment.

The other problem was that Switkowski concluded nuclear power was likely to be between 20 and 50 per cent more costly to produce than power from a new coal-fired plant.

Unless they have been major advances in nuclear technology in the past 12 years, that same formula would apply.

In 2006, Switkowski was able to breezily report: “Since Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, the nuclear industry has developed new reactor designs which are safer and more efficient.’’ Then along came Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

These are the sorts of things the old folk seeing out their days in the sun on Bribie have plenty of time to think about.

If the motion is debated seriously this weekend, proponents may be able to produce much in the way of supportive technical and financial evidence, even warming up the Switkowski report. But that will count for nothing when it comes to the Not In My Backyard syndrome and politicians of all shades know it.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland’s nuclear medicine from cyclotron produced at the hospital, leaving no nuclear waste problem

Cancer care in Queensland relies on nuclear medicine made in this concrete bunker http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-03/nuclear-medicine-concrete-bunker-central-to-states-cancer-care/9920624  ABC Radio Brisbane By Hailey Renault

Staff at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s nuclear medicine department get to work in the morning around the same time as a baker starts serving up hot bread.

But instead of kneading dough and priming ovens, the labcoat-clad workers manufacture medicines that diagnose and treat cancer.

It’s a delicate operation with rigorous quality control and testing protocols that start deep in the bowels of the hospital behind several layers of thick concrete.

A vault with walls more than a metre thick houses a particle accelerator called a cyclotron.

“It creates a proton beam which bombards oxygen-18 water and turns it into fluorine-18. That’s what we attach to those pharmaceuticals,” Dr Marissa Bartlett, manager of the Radiopharmaceutical Centre of Excellence, said.

The cyclotron is switched on at 4:00am every day to make a new batch of radiopharmaceuticals for lifesaving treatments and therapies.

“We make products that are taken up by cancer cells, so when a patient goes under the [PET] scanner the doctors can see pictures and images of where the cancer cells are,” Dr Bartlett told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Katherine Feeney.

“One of the therapies some patients who have cancer can have is a radionuclide therapy, which goes to the cancer cells and uses radiation to kill those cells.”

There’s no hazmat suits in sight — they’re not needed in a lab largely devoid of dangerous chemicals — but Dr Bartlett said lab workers were protected from radiation by a series of lead, lead-glass and concrete shields.

“When the cyclotron is on it generates very large amounts of radiation so it would be extremely dangerous to be anywhere near it when it’s on,” she said.

“In order to have it on campus we have it inside a concrete room. The walls of that room are thicker than I am tall.”

Medicines go direct to patients

Even though Dr Bartlett described the nuclear medicine department as an “obscure little branch” of hospital operations, many Queenslanders would come into contact with the radiopharmaceuticals it produced.

The Cancer Council of Queensland estimates nearly 27,000 people receive a cancer diagnosis each year.

“One of the things that makes this an amazing place to work is that you literally walk past the patients to get to the lab,” Dr Bartlett said.

“They might get news they really don’t want or maybe they’re coming back to see how their cancer is progressing or responding to treatment.

“We’re very aware of the patients who are lining up every day to get the products we make.”

And what happens to any radioactive materials that aren’t used?

“Everything we make has a very short half-life, so we basically store it until it decays away,” Dr Bartlett said.

“Then it’s completely cold and you wouldn’t know that it had been radioactive.”

July 6, 2018 Posted by | health, Queensland, technology | Leave a comment

We’re on the frontline defending our lands against Adani

We the leaders of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners.
We are the Traditional Owners of the land where  mining giant Adani want to build the Carmichael coal mine.

Our people have said no four times to a miserly land deal  offered by Adani in exchange for the destruction of our homelands.  We have been opposing Adani and holding them off since 2012.

‘Our resistance has nothing to do with dollars.  No amount of money or promises from a deceitful corporation  can stop us standing strong in defence of Wangan and Jagalingou  lands and waters and sacred sites.

But Adani are ruthless. They have used the dirtiest tactics to undermine  our right to say no, and manufacture a phony “Indigenous Land Use Agreement”.

Right now we’re fighting against Adani’s shoddy tactics and their sham “agreement” in court.
The judge could hand down a decision any day now.  But it won’t end there
.

Can you sign our petition to stand with us against Adani?

‘We are willing to fight Adani all the way to the High Court  to protect our environment and sacred sites.
We are working for a positive future for our people on our country.  We won’t stand by and watch its destruction for coal.

Adani are relentlessly pressuring the Queensland government  to clear our Native Title rights out of the way  — and as the clock ticks and Adani gets more desperate,  it will only intensify.
‘So we need to show Adani and our Governments that  they can’t fake or force our consent.

We have never given our consent to Adani to destroy our country,  and we never will.
Our land is our living law;  we are connected to it through our ancestors and our culture.  Without it we will cease to exist as a people.

‘Our people have been leading a courageous fight against a cashed-up mining giant with politicians in its pockets, and top end of town lawyers to argue away its collusion, bad faith and dishonesty.

We’re calling time on this. It’s time for Adani to walk away.

Sign our petition to tell Adani No means No. ‘Adani can’t keep bullying us, or pretending they have our consent.  Consent is written in our hearts and minds,  and the truth is we have said no. Time and again.. ‘And we shouldn’t have to keep saying it.
Adani haven’t been able to put money on the table for this project or even say when they’ll start digging.  They’ve given nothing to our people, or to the people of Queensland and Australia,  except a bunch of false promises. The smart money and honest commentators  know Adani’s Carmichael mine is going nowhere.

But still our rights are at extreme risk. The Queensland Government could yield to this corrupt polluting corporation and “legally” rip up our Native Title, just so they can say they have their final “approval”.

‘We continue to hold the line and have many tens of thousands of supporters in Australia
and around the world, but we need more. We need to build a more powerful movement,
standing in solidarity with us, to take on Adani’s wealth, political influence and dirty tricks
.

Sign our petition to support our fight against Adani.

We are in the fight of our lives. Adani have shown a relentless determination to  use unjust legal maneouvres to trample our rights. But this fight is bigger than Adani.  It’s about the rights that all Aboriginal people have to say no to dirty extractive industries  that profit from our traditional homelands. It’s about our right under international law  to be free from discrimination, and to choose our own economic future.

‘We have a vision for our people that’s sustainable.  We want economic independence, and to make a future on our country  that is respectful of the land and uplifting for our people.
We want to invest in solar energy and other new clean enterprises.  We don’t want scraps from a corrupt corporation looking to  profit from the permanent destruction of our culture, or meagre handouts  and low paid dirty jobs that require us to give up our human rights.

When we say No to Adani, we mean No. We hope you’ll stand with us.
‘Support our fight: wanganjagalingou.com.au/our-fight/

‘Adrian Burragubba, cultural leader and senior spokesperson with Murrawah Johnson, Youth spokesperson and Linda Bobongie, W&J Council Chairperson
for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council’  northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2018/05/wangan-and-jagalingou-traditional.html

May 30, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani coal mining company to pay for Isaac council staff working on Carmichael mine activities

Adani to pay for Isaac council staff working on Carmichael mine activities, ABC News 28 May 18 By Josh Robertson and Emilia Terzon 

May 27, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Carmichael mine in Queensland no longer a viable proposition

Adani losses prompt mining company to shift away from imported coal, Guardian,  Ben Smee , 7 May 18,  Results show Carmichael mine in Queensland no longer a viable proposition, analysts say 

Adani’s coal-fired power business has reported more heavy losses, prompting the Indian conglomerate to announce it would shift away from using expensive imported coal.

Analysts say the fourth-quarter financial results for Adani Power, a subsidiary of the Adani group, showed the proposed Carmichael mega-mine in Queensland was no longer a viable proposition.

Remarkably in the context of the Carmichael project, the billionaire Adani Groupboss, Gautam Adani, acknowledged in a statement that the cost of importing coal to India had contributed to Adani Power’s struggles.

“We expect to receive [domestic coal] for the Tiroda and Kawai plants in the near future, which will help reduce fuel costs and improve profitability of these projects,” he said.

“Under-recovery of fuel costs for Mundra project have impacted its financial viability, and we are in dialogue with key stakeholders for an early solution.”

When the Carmichael coal project was first proposed, Adani was pushing a “pit to plug” operational model under which it would mine coal to use at its own generators, making profits through efficiencies and cutting out middlemen.

The Mundra power plant, which operates on imported coal, was the planned destination for the spoils from the Carmichael project. After Mundra fell into financial trouble, Adani attempted unsuccessfully to sell the plant. It has not operated since February.

The Indian financial services company Edelweiss said Adani Power was “on thin ice” and doubted whether Mundra would reopen………https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/07/adani-coal-losses-prompt-mining-company-to-shift-from-imported-coal

May 9, 2018 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners opposing Adani hold smoking ceremony at QLD Parl,  call on Premier not to extinguish native title

 8 March 2018
‘At a smoking ceremony outside Queensland Parliament today the Wangan & Jagalingou Family Council
called on the Queensland government to rule out extinguishing W&J Native Title for Adani,
the week before a crucial Wangan & Jagalingou Council’s Federal Court case commences.
High quality stills and vision can be made available.
Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said,
“The Queensland Government has the power to extinguish our Native Title,
but they don’t have to go down this path.
Premier Palaszczuk should rule out ever extinguishing our native title for Adani.
‘“We are demanding a meeting with the Premier to explain why there is
no consent from us for Adani’s dirty land deal,
why the Queensland Government should remove its support for the Adani’s sham ILUA,
stop opposing W&J Traditional Owners in the courts
and not extinguish our native title.
‘“Adani’s destructive mine has no part in our future and would tear the heart out of our ancestral lands.
Premier Palaszczuk must pledge to not extinguish our native title for a deal with Adani. [1]
‘“We are determined to prevent our land being taken without our consent
and to protect our country and sacred places from destruction,
for an empty promise of jobs and some trinkets.
‘“We have never given consent to this mine or the surrender of our land rights
and have voted to reject a deal with Adani four times since 2012.
We will not rest until this destructive proposal is abandoned..
‘“A clear majority of Queenslanders are with us and
do not support the government pushing ahead with Adani’s mine
without the consent of Traditional Owners. [2] … ‘
wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-opposing-adani-hold-smoking-ceremony-at-qld-parl-call-on-premier-not-to-extinguish-native-title/
wanganjagalingou.com.au/category/latest-news/

March 9, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland premier backs renewables over Adani

 https://www.smh.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-premier-backs-renewables-over-adani-20180302-p4z2l1.html

Queensland’s premier has talked up gas and renewable energy when asked about the Adani coal mine, on her first day back from a trade mission to the United States.

Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten this week cast further doubt on Adani’s ability to raise funding for the project and whether a future Labor government would support the project.

Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday said she hadn’t spoken to Mr Shorten since returning from the US, but reiterated the $16.5 billion mine had to stand up by itself without taxpayer money.

“There are other resource industries investing in Queensland, the gas industry is investing in Queensland, we have $20 billion worth of renewable energy on our books,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane

“I hope a lot of resource company’s projects go ahead, but money talks, and the money is talking by investing in renewables.”

Ms Palaszczuk deflected questions about the proposed coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, instead pointing to interest from US investors in her government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target.

The premier said she had also met with the CEOs of a number of gas companies in the US as part of her government’s push to use gas as a transition fuel between coal and renewables.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | climate change - global warming, energy, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Townsville City Council censors documentary about Adani coal megamine plan

Anti-Adani documentary screening axed for safety reasons, not politics, council says, ABC News, 21 Feb 18 By Josh Robertson   Public safety concerns, not politics, were behind the axing of the screening of a documentary on the Stop Adani protest movement, a north Queensland council says.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Wangan Jagalingou oppose Adani coal mine expansion – NO EXTINGUISHMENT OF NATIVE TITLE

Letter to the QLD Premier – there should be no extinguishment of Native Title, by Wangan Jagalingou wanganjagalingou.com.au/author/wj/

There should be no extinguishment of Native Title without our consent

‘The W&J Council received its most recent mandate at a meeting of the W&J claim group on 2 December 2017.
The letter informed the Government that the W&J claim group opposes the Adani Mining Pty Ltd project because of the damage that it will cause to the culture, and the lands and waters,
of the Wangan and Jagalingou People.

W&J council also oppose the registered Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani Mining Pty Ltd
purported to be authorised by the Wangan and Jagalingou People
in controversial circumstances (“the Adani ILUA”).

W&J council uphold the decisions of the claim group who,
on four separate occasions (the last being at the authorisation meeting of 2 December 2017),
have rejected the Adani ILUA. …wanganjagalingou.com.au/letter-to-the-qld-premier-there-should-be-no-extinguishment-of-native-title/

February 14, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Native Title, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, and Adani Coal Mine Project

Killing Country (Part 5): Native Title Colonialism, Racism And Mining For Manufactured Consent, New Matilda By Morgan Brigg on

In the final of a five-part series on the battle by the Wangan and Jagalingou people of Central Queensland to halt the construction of the Carmichael coal mine by Indian mining giant Adani, Dr Morgan Brigg explains the problems with a native title system that continues to dispossess and disempower Australia’s First Peoples.

Wangan and Jagalingou people are the traditional owners of a vast swathe of Central-Western Queensland that is critical for the proposed Adani Carmichael mine, including a 2,750-hectare area over which native title rights must be extinguished for Adani to convert the land to freehold tenure for the infrastructure for mine operations.

The Wangan and Jagalingou are native title applicants with a prima facie claim to their lands, but the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council (W&J) are not following the establishment script of playing along with mining interests. Instead, they are vehemently resisting the proposed Adani Carmichael mine, including through native title law.

The fact that their rejection of Adani through four claim group meetings is not an open-and-shut case which sends the miners packing goes to the heart of what native title is and how it works in Australia

……… At the heart of the matter is that the native title regime is not a strong vehicle for the pursuit of Indigenous rights, including because it does not enable a veto, the possibility of which is the only true test of whether it can be said that free, prior and informed consent has been given. As W&J say, ‘no means no’.

Instead, native title facilitates the interests of state and capital by manufacturing consent through processes stacked against Indigenous people and backed up by the option of compulsory state acquisition of land.

The Australian establishment is accustomed to a highly inequitable approach to race politics. But the immorality of such legal deprivation is readily recognised on the world stage. The racially discriminatory nature of native title has previously been called out by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and as the W&J’s recent submission to the CERD states, “a consultation process that conforms to international law is almost impossible under Australian law”.

Despite having the odds stacked against them, W&J are challenging Australia’s native title system and the notion that compliance with colonial-derived law and the imperatives of industrial projects is the way forward for Indigenous people……..

Manufacturing Consent, Denying Traditional Owners

Wangan and Jagalingou people rejected Adani’s proposals in December 2012 and October 2014. However, Adani went to the NNTT in 2013 and 2015, the Tribunal allowed the mining leases to be granted over the rejections of the claim group, and the Queensland Government duly complied. This is the most direct way in which native title facilitates the denial rather than the protection of Aboriginal rights.

There was no consent, and no requirement on Adani to continue to negotiate, or to accept a refusal.

In addition, and against Wangan and Jagalingou decisions in 2012 and 2014, QSNTS has continued to facilitate Adani’s ongoing efforts to seek agreement, through an ILUA, to the surrender of native title rights in up to 2,750 hectares of land that are necessary for infrastructure critical to the mine. QSNTS declined to in any way facilitate a ‘self-determined’ meeting of the claim group that was run in March 2016 – a meeting that once again rejected an ILUA with Adani, as well as any further dealings with them. They also refused to attend, or share the notice of the most recent claim group meetings in December 2017 – meetings to address the progress of the native title claim. These meetings also revisited, and as it turned out, de-authorised the ILUA that Adani was seeking to have registered………..

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has remained silent in public while consistently joining court actions on the side of Adani, and actively facilitating the mine through the actions of the Coordinator-General. In this way, they prosecute an out-dated resource-intensive developmentalism at the expense of Indigenous rights, without publically saying that they oppose Indigenous rights.

As noted in a previous article in this series, “The ILUA process, in effect, enables the State Government to abrogate its responsibilities to mining companies in negotiations with Traditional Owners, despite the obvious unequal access to power and information that shapes both negotiation processes and their outcomes”.

However, depending on the outcome of the upcoming court case, the Queensland Government may be called upon to more explicitly deny the rights of Indigenous people as enabled by the native title regime.

Compulsory Acquisition and the Continuation of Colonial Violence

Should the objections of the W&J to the Adani ILUA process be upheld in the March 2018 court case, and if potential further Adani efforts to seek an ILUA are unsuccessful, the Queensland Government can compulsorily acquire the 2,750 hectares that Adani seeks. This action, which would be initiated through the Coordinator-General and require a decision of the Governor in Council, would see the state extinguish the native title rights of Wangan and Jagalingou people.

………W&J stand on the conflict-ridden frontier of these issues in real time where powerful forces – the state, miners, big money, and the established media – seek to overcome Aboriginal resistance that operates through the ‘right to say no’ that inspires older and rising generations of Aboriginal rights leaders.The W&J are pushing the limits of native title to prosecute their rights while opposing Adani’s proposed mine and making claims through Aboriginal law on their own terms. In doing so they are helping to show how native title is manifestly inadequate.

They are also helping all of us to ask questions of native title, and requiring us to ask what might be an alternative meaningful step in advancing Indigenous rights in Australia.  https://newmatilda.com/2018/01/30/native-title-colonialism-racism-adani-and-the-manufacture-of-consent-for-mining/

January 31, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

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

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