Apr 18, 2017

Coal lies exposed, Adani’s house of cards teeters

From the backbench to foreign policy and economics, the budget and now Alan Jones, Adani is causing Turnbull all sorts of problems, writes Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist.

If you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one. And if that fails, like it has for the Adani coal mine, tell an even bigger one.

The fanciful “10,000 jobs!” claim, which has been under sustained attack but is still being repeatedly made by the Adani spruikers, has collapsed. As Crikey has previously reported, the figure from Adani’s own economist -- who swore an oath to it in court -- is only 1464 direct and indirect jobs, on average, over the life of the mine. The jobs claim is symptomatic of the broader unravelling of the economic arguments for the giant coal mine.

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17 thoughts on “Coal lies exposed, Adani’s house of cards teeters

  1. John Newton

    Worth a read. How can our ‘government’ seriously consider lending to such a criminal enterprise?

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    I have resisted bothering to write to my local member, the PM, anyone, purely on the basis that this thing couldn’t possibly get up, even without the climate change considerations, local pollution, etc. It just isn’t economically viable.

    Why don’t they just have a lottery for local queenslanders and pay 1464 of them a triple pension for life. It would cost us less, have more economic credentials, and stop people worrying about missing out on jobs that don’t exist.

    I’ll be kicking myself if this gets up, moreso if and when I find out that we aren’t earning any money from the water or the coal. Couldn’t be more farked up!

  3. graybul

    . . . . don’t forget. The rank political opportunism extends beyond the PM; the Labor State Government is equally culpable!

    1. klewso

      I think this is going to rebound on Palaszczuk more than she realises – avarice doesn’t translate to respect – that means four years* of a Limited News Party One Nation coalition.
      *Another of her cunning “Let’s have a referendum – without adequate discussion” plans.

  4. murdo.macleod

    While the above makes interesting reading, it is nothing more than a collection of the facts around our current knowledge of the forces at work within the project approval process. It doesn’t go anyway towards providing an explanation of the reasons underlying the right-wing of the Federal Coalition government and the Queensland Labour government somehow finding themselves in lockstep agreement over Adani.
    Both are keen to support what appears to be a non-commercial project, delivering limited or non-existent financial benefits to both the nation and the state of Queensland, while at the same time running the real risk of further degrading the capacity of one of our nation’s strongest export industries. Direct tourism GDP for 2015-16 was $53 Billion dollars and tourism provides over 580,000 jobs nationwide, providing genuine and sustainable benefits to the whole of Australia. Underpinning that revenue is the Great Barrier Reef’s status as one of the world’s great natural wonders and our major tourism drawcard.
    So if jobs are a key consideration, where is the unbiased (by either side of the debate) analysis of the actual employment impacts over the short and the long-term? Surely we aren’t entering into this decision without serious analysis of the pros and cons? Where are the compelling and detailed cost/benefit analysis of the revenues to be generated? There seem to be a great many holes in the public information which surrounds the project, and numbers appear to be simply pulled from the airwaves by the self-opinionated such as Ross Cameron or Alan Jones. If the benefits are so evident, let’s put a simple condition on the entire scheme: should the projected benefits be significantly less, or simply not arise, then Adani will agree to make up the difference.
    Where is the investigative journalism that should be dredging through the details of the participants, reporting leaked memoranda and unravelling the numerous conflicting interests.
    What of the tight associations between Gautam Adani and the leader of the Indian Government, Narendra Modi?
    Our Australian PM has recently returned from an unsuccessful attempt to initiate free-trade agreements with the Indian government. Could both the NAIF loan and the mine’s approval represent a pre-condition for such discussions, and a sweet little backhander for one of Modi’s great mates and one of his strongest supporters, or am I being too cynical?

    1. Marjorie Carless

      Yes, where are the investigative journalists? All is very quiet on the Adani scene regarding details. Non transparency, secrecy means to me that there is “dirty work at the crossroads” as they say.

  5. klewso

    You don’t have to be an industrial strength bull-shitter to be a minister in this Limited News Party government – but it doesn’t hurt either.

  6. Lesley Graham

    This just goes to show this government has lost it’s understanding of what it is doing in power, I include the Queensland government in there. Surely if they were looking to beef up job numbers that they would consider improving investment in their tourist industry and or research & development maybe in the solar & sustainable energy fields this seems like the most reasonable & sensible concept, rather than continue with an arcane & particularly redundant form of power, which is largely outdated and will be irrelevant within the next 5-10 years. I wonder if this is just a last ditch effort to please those conservatives that want to continue bleating on about the good old days ie the dark ages, just for as long as they are alive.
    It doesn’t stack up economically to lend this type of money to any mining company’s let alone the likes of Adani’s whose truly horrendous track record, not only in their own country & toward their own people no less. So if they are prepared to destroy their own country & people’s environment (s) what’s to stop them doing similar things to Queensland, before they move onto the next bigger & better deal. Because you can guarantee if this goes ahead their state government will come cap in hand to the other states looking for money to clean up the mess that Adani will leave behind if this project goes ahead. So why should the public purse fund this whole debacle in the first place? There is nothing about it that makes economic or rational sense, & I do suggest the government has realised that it’s ran into a brick wall & not been smart enough to check the fine print (the laughable thing is that most of the current crop of LNP ministers are ex-lawyers, accountant, which is quite scary, as they obviously don’t follow their own advice, by checking the fine print, before you sign on the dotted line) before getting caught in the over enthusiastic courting of Adani & it’s own inability to see when it’s signing a deal that sign’s away & contravene’s many of our environmental laws & indigenous land rite agreements.
    Surely the fact that none of the worlds banks would provide funds for Adani’s mining project, shows that it is deeply flawed & that there are red flags throughout this whole project, if the banks think it’s unviable, why should the taxpayers be expected to again foot the bill? By then put both Federal & State government into debt, yet again.

  7. Mike Smith

    “Canavan then awkwardly told Patricia Karvelas on RN yesterday evening that he was as confident of the jobs figures as he was of his marriage.”

    I’ll be keenly watching both stories here.

    1. James Findlay

      I didn’t even know Canavan’s marriage was in trouble…

      1. Ben Aveling

        The man’s always the last to know.

  8. leon knight

    It wasn’t a bad article Bernard, until you got to the last sentence….Mal has had no pm credibilty for quite a while…..

  9. AR

    If any aspect of this Adani nonsense were viable, there would be no shortage of international banks, awash with funds looking for a home, willing to fund it.
    Hell, Russian banks lend to the Drumpfster buteven they won’t touch this.

  10. Roger Seccombe

    ” … will cruel any hopes that the Coalition will be able to claw back notions that they are “good economic managers” or “fiscally conservative”.”
    Not so; the died-in-true-wool LNP supporters will always believe that they are “good economic managers” or “fiscally conservative”.

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