Australian news, and some related international items

Quietly, nuclear -powered USS Ronald Reagan to Brisabane to join massive Talisman military exercise

Nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan heads into Brisbane, Warwick Daily News Jodie Munro O’Brien, The Courier-Mail | 22nd Jul 2017 “….The USS Ronald Reagan, named after America’s 40th president, was commissioned in July 2003 and has been based in Yokosuka, Japan since late 2015.


July 22, 2017 Posted by | Queensland, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Queensland Liberal National Party refuses to pull out of Paris Climate Accord

LNP members vote down call to pull out of Paris Climate Accord at Queensland convention, ABC News By Chris O’Brien, 16 July, Queensland Liberal National Party members have steered away from a potentially divisive move against Australia’s global climate position, while the party leader also vowed not to be distracted by federal squabbles in the lead up to the next election.

The party’s annual convention voted down a motion calling on the Commonwealth to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, after two former presidents warned against undermining the Prime Minister.

“This motion is really about just putting the knife into the Federal Government,” immediate past president Bruce McIver said.

“They’ve agreed on it on our behalf, and I think if we don’t believe we should vote this down today, we are doing them an injustice.”………

July 17, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and the ACT defy Turnbull, will “go it alone” on Clean Energy Target

States harden threat to got it alone on clean energy target, THE AUSTRALIAN, 15 July 17  ROSIE LEWIS, Reporter, Canberra @rosieslewis and SID MAHER, NSW Editor, Sydney@sidmaher

Labor states have ramped up pressure on the Turnbull government to adopt a clean energy target but refused to lift bans on gas exploration, triggering warnings from industry leaders that time was running out for a national ­approach to lowering electricity costs and securing supply.

A crucial meeting of the ­nation’s state and federal energy ministers yesterday signed 49 of the 50 recommendations handed down by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, but Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT stuck to their threat to “go it alone” on a target and moved to “immediately develop and ­de­sign” options for implementing the mechanism………

The Australian Energy Council, representing major gas and electricity businesses, said brokering a national and bipartisan CET was fundamental to overcoming the energy crisis.

“Successful reform and lower energy bills will only come from bipartisan support and national implementation. Investment behind this reform will run for decades, so we need to find broad and enduring agreement to give it the confidence to proceed.’’

Key Finkel recommendations agreed to at the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting in Brisbane include an obligation on intermittent sources of generation such as wind and solar to provide appropriate levels of backup power to guard against blackouts; a requirement for large generators to give at least three years’ notice before closing; and the establishment of an energy security board to scrutinise the National Electricity Market’s health, security and reliability.

The states also backed the federal government’s decision to abolish the Limited Merits Review — a tool the government says has been used by power companies to increase electricity ­prices — and accelerate the timetable for gas pipelines reform.

The price and availability of long-term electricity retail contracts will be published so big consumers can understand the market they are competing in.

Grattan Institute energy director Tony Wood said the only factors likely to drive any easing of prices were a decision by the Queensland government to order its generators to lower their ­returns, and the final commissioning of the Gladstone LNG export facilities, which could see more gas made available for domestic use and ease gas prices……

The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association was dismayed that energy ministers had brought forward reforms to pipeline operations by a month. Information disclosure and arbitration rules will now begin on August 1.

July 15, 2017 Posted by | ACT, energy, politics, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria | Leave a comment

Queensland Liberal National Party confirms its status as the Party For Fossil Fools

Queensland LNP pledges to promote coal and ‘resist environmental groups’
Proposals before LNP state convention include pulling out of Paris climate agreement and banning migrants from nations that recognise sharia,
Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 14 July 17, Queensland’s Liberal National Party has resolved to use its next stint in state government to push for the promotion of coal mining and “fully resist environmental groups” that stand in the way.

The pro-coal vow was one of the opening resolutions of an LNP state convention set to rule on up to 77 rank and file proposals for new policy, including calling on the federal government to echo Donald Trump’s US administration by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement.

mixed agenda from the three-day event also includes calls to ban immigration from nations that recognise sharia, privatise the ABC, and condemn public spending on “altering traffic lights for ideological purposes”.

One proposed resolution calls on the federal government to ensure Adani’s corporate structure makes its tax liability similar to Australian companies before it is given any loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

That proposal is from the LNP’s Moggill branch, in Brisbane’s leafy, well-heeled western suburbs.

 Moira Williams, from the activist group Stop Adani Brisbane, said this showed “that the grassroots of the LNP are concerned about Adani’s reliance on tax havens, and they know that lending $1 billion of taxpayers’ money to this company is a risk for the taxpayer”.

“That the Adani Group has a complex network of companies that extends to a global tax haven, the Cayman Islands, is no secret. It is no wonder that the LNP membership are concerned about the potential for Adani to receive significant public funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.”

The first vote of the convention on Friday backed a resolution from the rural Burnett branch to call for “Get Up and other blatantly political organisations” to register as third parties with electoral authorities to enable scrutiny of funding sources, advertising and political activities.

The convention, which sets official party policy for consideration but is not binding on the LNP parliamentary arm, is the last before a Queensland election due by May 2018.

A proposal from the Groom branch near Toowoomba called on the federal government to “pull out of the Paris Climate Accord as it weakens Australia’s sovereignty and economy without helping the environment in any measurable way”.

The Queensland environment minister, Steven Miles, said the fact the LNP was debating a withdrawal from the “historic Paris climate treaty … underlined the differences between Labor and the LNP on climate policy”.

“In the very same week as Queensland Labor announces we will decarbonise Queensland’s economy in line with the treaty, the LNP wants to pull out of it,” he told Guardian Australia.

“This explains [opposition leader] Tim Nicholls’ hysterical response to our policy. He’s hopelessly beholden to a backward looking party base. Increasingly the LNP is the party of fossil fuels, while Labor accepts the need to transition our economy and is taking steps to do so.”……

July 15, 2017 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland government would welcome an Elon Musk renewable energy storage project

Queensland’s door would be open to Elon Musk: Trad, The Age, Felicity Caldwell, 13 July 17, Queensland’s door would be open to billionaire Elon Musk if he wanted to talk about a project in the Sunshine State, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said following a leaders’ roundtable featuring former US vice president and climate change activist Al Gore.

Last week, South Australia announced Mr Musk’s Tesla company as the principal builder of the world’s largest lithium ion battery to expand the state’s renewable energy supply.

Mr Musk has promised to have the SA system installed and operating within 100 days, otherwise it will be free.

Ms Trad said Queensland would say yes to Mr Musk if he wanted to turn his attention to the state once the South Australian battery was built. “The door would be absolutely open,” she said.

 Ms Trad said Queensland had already released an expression of interest process for a major solar battery manufacturing facility for Townsville…….

Would she hope Mr Musk might come knocking and set up a facility in Townsville?

“I think that would be incredibly exciting for Townsville and for Queensland as a whole,” she said.

On July 11, the Queensland government announced its plan for zero net emissions by 2050 and reducing emissions by 30 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.  Ms Trad spoke to Fairfax Media from Melbourne, where Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have signed a “leadership declaration” at a roundtable attended by Mr Gore, who narrowly lost the 2000 US presidential election……

Australia’s states and ACT have agreed to work together to meet obligations under the Paris Agreement, a zero net carbon emissions by 2050 policy and to share information on their successes.

“We want to share innovation, understanding and learning in this space so that as a nation we can move towards what we committed to do and that is to do our bit, to reduce our emissions and keep global temperatures below an increase of 2 degrees,” Ms Trad said.

“We know that this [the Paris Agreement] is a big challenge, we know this is something that Australia signed up for.

“But what we also know is that the Turnbull government has failed to show the necessary leadership for us to move in that direction.”……

July 14, 2017 Posted by | energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

No plans for real development of Adani coal mine expansion. Adani family will benefit most, if it happens

Adani’s Carmichael coal mine has slow ‘official start’ planned, leaked document shows, ABC News,  by Stephen Long , 9 Jul 17 Flanked by Commonwealth and Queensland politicians, the giant Indian conglomerate Adani last month announced that its board had given final investment approval to its controversial mega-mine in North Queensland, and declared the “official start” of the Carmichael coal mining project.

But what does that mean in practice? For the moment, it seems, not much.

The ABC has obtained the plan of operations for the Carmichael coal mine project submitted to the Queensland Government last month.

It covers just six months and involves next to nothing: just re-establishing signage at the site, recommissioning an existing temporary camp and installing some additional demountable buildings.

“The plan of operations will be amended in due course to include all early works related to commencement of construction activities for the mine and related infrastructure works,” it says.

The lack of a substantive plan for development of the mine “is a huge embarrassment for the Adani cheer squad including the Prime Minister, the Premier of Queensland and [Minister for Resources and Northern Australia] Matt Canavan, who have bent over backwards to get this project over the line,” said Rick Humphries, co-ordinator of the mine rehabilitation campaign for the Lock the Gate Alliance — a group established by farmers to fight “inappropriate” coal and gas mining.

“It only really commits Adani to maintaining the existing temporary camp and looking after the signs and roads,” he said.

“It raises serious doubts about the project’s financial viability……..

Adani’s mine project, if it were to proceed to full scale, would be the largest-ever coal mining development in Australia and the biggest export coal project in the world, involving a series of open cut mines and underground pit with a capacity of 60 million tonnes a year.

Adani would also have to build an additional port at the Abbot Point Coal Terminal — which it owns — to accommodate output from the mine, though there has been speculation that Adani intends to scale down the mining venture to less than half the initial planned capacity.

Despite the question marks about Adani’s ability to finance the venture there are clear incentives for the Adani family to make the project happen.

An “overarching royalty deed” at the project will see $2 from each tonne of coal mined beyond the first 400,000 tonnes each year go a private company ultimately owned by an Adani family entity registered in the Cayman Islands.

This could potentially mean that hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars, from the venture could flow to the Adani family rather than to shareholders of the publicly-listed company that owns the Carmichael mine.

The ABC has also been told that the response of Adani’s billionaire chairman Gautam Adani to years of activism and opposition to the mine in Australia is a determination to see the project realised.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

A farmer deplores the planned giveaway of precious water to Adani coal mine project

Adani Carmichael mine: Water is too important for farmers to risk wasting it on a mine, ABC News, 6 Jul 17  By Robert Quirk, I’m no activist. I’m a farmer, and as a farmer I’m against the Adani coal mine for one reason: water.

My sugar cane farm is on the flood plains of northern NSW. Many of my friends and colleagues are in the industry located all over Queensland.

All farmers, no matter what the crop, or livestock, rely on water. Sugar cane requires about 1300 millimetres of well-spread rain to grow a crop. You might manage, with good irrigation, on 600-700mm. Too much in the form of a flood and you might end up with a damaged crop.

In a good year, everything you need falls from the sky, at the right time, in the right amount. Of course, not every year is a good year. In fact, good years are rare and that’s why farmers manage risk with irrigation. You store the water for use later with dams and the like, you try to use it efficiently and sometimes you need to extract it from underground, or truck it in.

It’s all pretty basic stuff, so it’s truly bowled me over to learn the detail of the Adani mine in relation to water.

Two sets of rules

Many farmers in Queensland have licences to draw their water from the Great Artesian Basin. The same basin that the Carmichael mine, once in operation, also plans to draw massive amounts of water from.

How much you ask? Good question. As much as the owners please, because the Queensland Government has granted this company unlimited access to extract groundwater…….

Those in favour of the mine are right about one thing — it is a really good deal. It’s just not a good deal for the Australian people……

July 8, 2017 Posted by | environment, Queensland | Leave a comment

Farmers for Climate Action gathering huge support in their fight against Adani coal mine expansion

Farmers join fight against Adani coalmine over environmental concerns  More than 2,000 farmers and agriculture leaders express concern proposed Carmichael coalmine could affect groundwater, biodiversity and climate change, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 30 June 17, A group of Australian farmers have joined the large coalition of groups fighting against Adani’s giant Carmichael coalmine, after they became concerned about the affects the mine would have on groundwater, biodiversity, rural communities and climate change.

Farmers for Climate Action – a group of more than 2,000 farmers and agriculture leaders concerned about climate change – became the newest group to join the Stop Adani alliance last week, at the same time as one of its members attracted more than 30,000 signatures to a petition calling on the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, to rescind her commitment to give Adani unlimited free access to groundwater used by farmers in the region.

Longreach farmer Angus Emmott launched the petition last week; a few days later he had an accident on his farm and had to be airlifted to hospital. When he checked on the number of signatures on Wednesday, he was shocked to see there were nearly 30,000……

“It’s too big a danger for the future,” Emmott said. “We need clean water. We need good soil. We need food security. And we have the potential to be a leader in renewable energy in Queensland. We don’t need to be reviving an outdated technology.”

Excited by the number of signatures, Emmott decided to try to get a meeting with Palaszczuk and deliver the petition in person. “The doc says I should take it easy after my accident, but as soon as I get the all-clear to travel I’ll fly to Brisbane to deliver the petition in person. I might bring a few other farmers with me too,” he said in an update posted on the petition website.

Emmott said it appeared a lot of farmers have signed the petition, as well as people in cities who share his concerns. He said he hopes to reach 50,000 signatures before he delivers the petition to Palaszczuk.

The Farmers for Climate Action chief executive, Verity Morgan-Schmidt, said the group had decided to join the Stop Adani alliance mainly because of impacts the proposal would have on groundwater, but also because of concerns about biodiversity, rural communities and the climate. The decision brought the number of groups in the Stop Adani alliance to 13.

“No one can tell us, with any confidence, what impact this project could have on water supplies from underground aquifers because there is no independent or government oversight, or trigger levels that would halt mining,” Morgan-Schmidt said…….

June 30, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, environment, Queensland | Leave a comment

John Pratt ‘s climate and coal news

  • SECOND YEAR OF BLEACHING IMPACTS GREAT BARRIER REEF – GBRMPA UPDATE 29/5/17  Global coral bleaching over the last two years has led to widespread coral decline and habitat loss on the Great Barrier Reef.
    Since December 2015, the Great Barrier Reef has been exposed to above average sea surface temperatures, due to the combined effects of climate change and a strong El Niño.

    These conditions triggered mass coral bleaching in late summer 2016 and led to an estimated 29 per cent loss of shallow water coral Reef-wide, according to findings by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
    Winter sea surface temperatures in 2016 remained above average and, by the beginning of the 2016-17 summer, the accumulated heat stress on the Reef resulted in a second wave of mass bleaching.
    Staff from the Marine Park Authority took part in aerial surveys conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and the results confirmed the extent and severity of the 2017 bleaching event.

  • Climate Change Could Spark Another Great Recession! #StopAdani 

    This Time, It May Be Permanent

    Climate change will wreak havoc on the U.S. economy, leading to as much as a 3% decline in national GDP by the end of the 21st century if left unaddressed — and losses will be far higher in some of the country’s poorest areas, according to a new study.

  • Extract from Cairns Regional Council Climate Change Strategy #StopAdani 

    2.4 Implications for the region

    Tourism –

    Many tourists visit the region solely because of the natural beauty of its reefs and rainforests.

June 30, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Twists and turns in the saga of Adani loan deal for giant Carmichael coal mine

Final chapter in Adani loan deal, Karen Middleton , Saturday Paper, 24 June 17, While the dealings of the government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility remain shrouded in secrecy, pressure mounts over funding for the Adani rail line.   “…….Among those addressing the annual Developing Northern Australia conference, held this year in Cairns, was Sharon Warburton, the chairwoman of the somewhat opaque Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, known as the NAIF.

The NAIF is a $5 billion-government-owned lender, set up to make concessionary loans to companies planning infrastructure projects in northern Australia that are of demonstrated public benefit and would not otherwise be able to proceed…..

The NAIF has not yet lent any money. But Warburton is hinting that it’s close to a decision on at least one application, the one that’s attracted the most controversy and has become an open secret: the request from Indian mining conglomerate Adani for $1 billion to fund a railway line to support its proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

“We know there is a lot of interest in NAIF and the Adani rail project,” Warburton told the conference on Monday. “I can confirm we are in our due diligence phase on that project.”

That translates as the final stage of assessment, with three other applications apparently also reaching finality. But, Warburton said, she could not say any more about Adani than that…..

Greens senator Larissa Waters said clean coal was “a lie”.

“This is straight from the big tobacco playbook,” Waters said. “Remember ‘light’ cigarettes? To meet the commitment under the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to safe levels, we need to reach zero pollution in the electricity sector transitioning away from coal. Building more coal-fired power stations is simply incompatible with the science.”

Environmental activists continue to mount a strenuous campaign against any kind of coal-fired power and the Adani mine development in particular, on the grounds that it represents an investment in a backwards-looking energy source that will add to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and damage the Great Barrier Reef…….

The company has sent mixed messages on whether it needs the NAIF loan to proceed, initially saying it wasn’t essential and then saying it was, a distinction crucial to NAIF’s considerations.

Details of any NAIF decision will only be published after it has been finalised and within 30 days of being taken.

Larissa Waters and Labor senator Murray Watt succeeded last week in establishing a senate inquiry into the NAIF, and Waters is pushing to have Adani called before it.

In recent senate budget estimates committee hearings, Labor and the Greens attempted to extract information on the status of the NAIF’s deliberations in general and the fate of Adani’s bid in particular.

As part of its processes, the NAIF must consult with Infrastructure Australia on projects it proposes to fund.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale asked Infrastructure Australia chief executive Philip Davies whether it had received a submission on the Adani rail line, as per the requirement that it must assess all projects seeking more than $100 million.

Davies said it had not…..

….NAIF director Karla Way-McPhail, who is chief executive of two companies that service the mining industry.

Minister Matt Canavan confirmed to a senate estimates hearing this month that Way-McPhail, who has spoken out in support of opening up the Galilee, was a friend whom he had recommended for the board…..

NAIF chief executive Laurie Walker declined to tell the senate estimates committee whether Way-McPhail or any other NAIF director had recused themselves from any discussions on the grounds of a potential conflict of interest. Walker said that was “not information that I think is appropriate to disclose”.

She said more than six conflicts had been declared…..

The Greens’ main focus has been on the suitability of the loan applicant rather than the assessors.

Larissa Waters wants the government to insert a “suitable person” test into the NAIF’s process for assessing loan bids, arguing she believes it would rule out Adani.

The Greens also want the environmental history test strengthened within environmental law and are calling for Adani’s approvals for the Carmichael project to be reviewed on the basis of “revelations about their environmental and corporate history” in activities overseas.

Waters has produced a private member’s bill to reflect the concerns but the government is not obliged to bring it forward for a vote……

despite Adani having announced with flourish recently that it had taken the final decision to proceed, others argue there are still obstacles to be cleared.

Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, believes it is not viable without massive taxpayer subsidies.

“The green light that Adani made such a fuss about a couple of weeks ago was actually just a sham,” Buckley told The Saturday Paper.

He has written a paper suggesting “defer, delay and pray” appear to be the company’s unspoken watchwords……despite Adani having announced with flourish recently that it had taken the final decision to proceed, others argue there are still obstacles to be cleared….

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Great Barrier Reef headed for death, without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

UNESCO warns climate change means time is running out for World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, Daryl Passmore, The Courier-Mail, June 25, 2017

THE Great Barrier Reef will be dead by the end of this century without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a world-first study warns.

The threat to Australia’s natural wonder is detailed in the first global assessment of climate change impacts on coral, released yesterday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

It comes just a month before the World Heritage Committee meets in Poland to consider the condition of the Great Barrier Reef and the effectiveness of a management plan introduced by the Queensland and federal governments to protect it.

“Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef,’’ it says.

“The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.”

The report calls on all countries with World Heritage coral reefs to act to reduce net greenhouse emissions to zero in order to save them.

On current trends, the assessment predicts, global warming will increase by 4.3C by 2100.

Under that scenario, the Great Barrier Reef would suffer severe coral bleaching twice a decade by 2035 – “a frequency that will rapidly kill most corals present and prevent successful reproduction necessary for recovery of corals.’’

The diversity of life on reefs has led to them being been dubbed the “rainforests of the sea”. Covering less than 0.1 per cent of the ocean floor, they host more than a quarter of all marine fish species.

Australian Marine Conservation Society spokeswoman Imogen Zethoven said the Great Barrier Reef and other World Heritage reefs were in grave danger from climate change, mainly driven by the burning of coal.

“Yet the Australian government appears hell-bent on making the problem worse by pushing ahead with Adani’s monstrous coal mine (planned for central Queensland), talking up a coal-fired power station next to the Great barrier Reef and failing to do its fair share of global pollution reduction,” she said.

 “The Australian government is not only placing our Great Barrier Reef and the 70,000 jobs that depend on it at grave risk, it is endangering the future of World Heritage coral reefs around the world,” Ms Zethoven said.

“The majority of Australians believe the state of our reef is a national emergency, but the Australian government doesn’t care.”

June 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, environment, Queensland | Leave a comment

Great Barrier Reef’s huge economic value to Australia

Great Barrier Reef ‘too big to fail’ at $56b, Deloitte Access Economics report says, By Louisa Rebgetz The Great Barrier Reef has a total asset value of $56 billion and is “too big to fail”, according to a new report.

Key points:

  • Deloitte Access Economics says GBR has calculated economic, social and iconic value of $56 billion
  • Tourism is the biggest contributor to the total asset value making up $29 billion
  • But tourist figures are down 50 per cent in the Whitsundays — operators say “this is as bad as it was during the GFC”

Deloitte Access Economics has calculated the economic, social and iconic value of the world heritage site in a report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Tourism is the biggest contributor to the total asset value making up $29 billion.

The Great Barrier Reef generates 64,000 jobs in Australia and contributes $6.4 billion dollars to the national economy, the report said.

It states the brand value, or Australians that have not yet visited the Reef but value knowing it exists, as $24 billion.

Recreational users including divers and boaters make up $3 billion.

The report does not include quantified estimates of the value traditional owners place on the Great Barrier Reef and it said governments should consider doing more to protect it.

Climate change remains biggest threat

It also references the back to back coral bleaching events which have devastated the reef and says climate change remains the most serious threat to the entire structure.

“We have already lost around 50 per cent of the corals on the GBR in the last 30 years. Severe changes in the ocean will see a continued decline ahead of us,” the report states.

“Today, our Reef is under threat like never before. Two consecutive years of global coral bleaching are unprecedented, while increasingly frequent extreme weather events and water quality issues continue to affect reef health,” said Dr John Schubert AO, Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators executive director Col McKenzie said the reef is crucial to the industry.

“We don’t have an industry without the Barrier Reef being in good condition.”

He said the negative coverage of the reef relating to the destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie earlier this year and the bleaching event is having an impact on visitor numbers.

Mr McKenzie said tourist figures are down 50 per cent in the Whitsundays and it is being felt along the Queensland coast.

June 26, 2017 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Future jobs in Far North Queensland threatened by Adani coal mine

Claims that Adani Coal Mine will threaten future tourism jobs in Far North, Tom Volling, The Cairns Post, June 19, 2017 A GROUP of scientists, doctors and reef conservationists claim a controversial coal mine destined for Central Queensland will negatively impact the Cairns economy.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | employment, Queensland | Leave a comment

Aboriginal leader, previous supporter of Adani coal project, now rejects it

“I want to withdraw my signature on the Ilua,” he said. “I take this position because I do not believe that the Ilua adequately compensates us for the destruction the project will wreak upon the traditional culture and lands of our people.”

He said that most in the meeting, which was boycotted by those opposing the deal, were “people I did not recognise as being members of our claim group”.

“Most importantly, I believe that QSNTS failed us by not ensuring that we were properly and independently advised on the benefits of entering the Adani Ilua,” Dallen said. “Only the benefits of entering the Ilua were discussed.””..

Adani mine loses majority support of traditional owner representatives
Wangan and Jagalingou representative who had backed an Indigenous land use agreement now says he opposes the mine, Guardian, Joshua Robertson, 15 June 17 
Adani has lost majority support from traditional owner representatives for a land access deal for its Queensland mine, casting doubt on moves to implement the agreement.

Craig Dallen, a Wangan and Jagalingou representative who last year backed an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) with the miner, now says he opposes a deal that will not make up for “the destruction the project will wreak upon the traditional culture and lands of our people”.

Dallen’s reversal, which came while he was sidelined from the decision-making process while in custody in a Queensland jail, has left the W&J representative group deadlocked on the Adani deal, with six in favour and six against.

But federal government native title amendments passed on Wednesday mean Adani’s agreement, unlike all future Iluas, do not need majority support to proceed. Continue reading

June 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani could be looking for an excuse to back out of unviable Carmichael coal project

As Adani continues to find multiple reasons to delay progress on Carmichael, one might argue that perhaps it is looking to holdbacks on a hoped-for string of royalty/loan/water subsidies as the excuse it needs to withdraw from the project.

Adani’s ‘pit-to-plug strategy’ is fraying at both ends  By Tim Buckley on 13 June 2017 Gautam Adani, the chairman of the Indian conglomerate Adani Group, has long argued that the Carmichael coal proposal in the Galilee Basin of Australia is a key part of his company’s “integrated pit-to-plug strategy.”

The Adani logic for the Carmichael project assumes that the traded price of seaborne thermal coal is irrelevant to the commercial viability of Carmichael because the coal would be used within the Adani family group of companies.

The company line is that Carmichael venture needs to be viewed, in other words, strictly in the context of the overall profitability of the pit-to-plug  strategy.

 IEEFA sees Carmichael as both unviable and unbankable if it is tied to actual coal markets (with the forward price of thermal coal back down to US$66/t), which is why the pit-to-plug strategy Adani talks up is the linchpin said to be holding the proposal together.

It’s a shaky foundation on which to proceed, however. Last week Adani Power reported that its core asset —the 4.6 GW 100 percent import-coal-fired power plant at Mundra—is no longer viable, news that brings what was an already questionable argument for Carmichael into further question.

In IEEFA’s view, any decision to walk away from Carmichael would require a A$1.4 billion (US$1.05billion) write-off for Adani Enterprises (AEL), a very unpalatable outcome for Adani Group bankers owed a collective US$15 billion, particularly if Adani Power (APL) were forced to also take a US$1 billion write-down on Mundra on top of the US$954 million net loss just reported.

  • Adani Power’s financial distress is growing, which is why it has just recorded that US $954 million loss,  Continue reading

June 14, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment