Adani offers false hope to South Australia


Steel order of 56,000 tonnes would be less than 1% of Whyalla steelworks capacity.

Today’s announcement that the Adani coal project would ‘throw a lifeline’ to South Australian steel producer Arrium is the latest piece of deception from a company renowned for breaking its big economic promises.

Canberra-based think tank The Australia Institute, which has researched Adani extensively, urges South Australians to be wary of a company that routinely promises much but delivers little.

“Describing a one off order of 56,000 tonnes of railway line as a ‘lifeline’ for Arrium Steel is a cruel hoax,” said Chief Economist at The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss.

“Adani long claimed their mine and railway would create 10,000 jobs, before having to concede under oath in a Queensland court that the number was more like 1,400. Now we see claims that they will bring 10,000 to South Australia alone.

“Arrium steel can produce 2.5 million tonnes of steel per year. Adani’s apparent order of 56,000 tonnes over 2.5 years would utilise less than one percent of Arrium’s capacity. That’s more like dental floss than a lifeline.

“Arrium is under administration, having collapsed with debt of $2.8 billion. This $73 million order represents 2.5% of that debt, without considering the costs of making the steel. South Australians should go and ask the administrators KordaMentha whether they consider this a ‘lifeline’.

“The Current government’s determination to send the Australian car industry offshore has done far more damage to the Australian steel and manufacturing sector than even building the world’ largest coal mine can fix.

“Adani’s order would be a one-off. The car industry bought steel every year, so unless the Coalition is planning to subsidise a lot more coal mines, and a lot more regularly, the idea that their determination to subsidise the Adani coal mine is a win for SA is ridiculous.

“Once again Adani and Minister Canavan are making big promises about a mine project that the Queensland Treasury describes as “unbankable” and has repeatedly been promised huge public subsidy. And this is the project to keep Whyalla on the map? What could possibly go wrong?”

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