In full “coal is the future of humanity” mode yesterday, Tony Abbott railed at environment groups that had stymied the Carmicheal coal mine project (not Department of Environment bureaucrats who had screwed up the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act process for granting approval for it).

“It will create about 10,000 well-paid jobs,” Abbott said about the unviable project, which is likely to be nixed by Adani, in comments dutifully carried on the front page of The Australian (a journal proudly powered by coal-fired electricity only).

Except, the 10,000 jobs claim is a well-known lie. Earlier this year the company’s own expert witness admitted in court the project would only create 1464 jobs. Where does the 10,000 figure come from? Well, that’s the nebulous “indirect” estimate of number of jobs the project would create elsewhere through, for example, construction of the rail line necessary to haul all that carbon to a port. Except, even by the estimate of the Queensland mining lobby group the Queensland Resources Council, the rail line would only create 2400 temporary jobs. That still leaves another 6000-odd jobs that exist only in the prime ministerial imagination.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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