Indian mining company Adani says its Carmichael coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin does hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds promised to it by the Queensland LNP, raising questions over why such a subsidy was offered in the first place.
The $450 million rail subsidy, along with the offer to waive royalty payments for a portion of the Carmichael mine’s 60 year life, were offered by the LNP in Queensland as an incentive for a project that Adani have revealed would have gone ahead even without the sweetener.
The LNP’s pledge of support was justified as a way of securing development of the controversial Galilee Basin coal deposits.
The Adani admission now shows that development was to go ahead with or without the assistance from taxpayers. An Australia Institute report recently revealed subsidies for Abbot Point expansions had already cost Queensland taxpayers $2 billion.
“If the $450 million was not needed by Adani to go ahead with this project, why on earth was the Liberal-National Party so adamant about giving it to them?” Australia Institute Executive Director, Dr Richard Denniss, said today.
“The lack of a cost-benefit analysis meant we never knew for sure what the numbers were, and now we see that the threats of projects being cancelled were totally hollow.
“We have to assume that if the project didn’t need $450 million of taxpayer funds to get off the ground that those funds would have simply topped up profits, and all of that money wouldn’t have created a single job in Queensland.
“This revelation should call into question mining industry subsidies right across Australia. Governments must be transparent about negotiation and provide cost-benefit analysis before more taxpayer dollars are needlessly spent,” Dr Denniss said.