Open letter puts unanswered economic questions on Adani project to PM

The Australia Institute have today published an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining the unasked and unanswered economic questions regarding the Adani Carmichael mine proposal and its potential public subsidisation of $1 billion.

The letter appears as a full-page advertisement in the Australian Financial Review.

The questions put:

1 –  Will the Adani mine pay full coal royalties to the Queensland Government, or has it been granted a ‘royalty holiday’, as was promised under the Newman Government?

2 – Will the Adani mine pay the full company tax rate in Australia, or will Australian coal be sold through Adani’s entities in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Singapore?

3 – How will the project employ ten thousand workers when Adani says, under oath, that only 1,464 jobs will be created, and boasts “everything will be autonomous from mine to port”?

4 – Will the Adani mine be made to pay for the billions of litres of water it will use?

5 – If Adani exports 60 million tonnes per year of new subsidised coal, will this reduce coal exports and jobs in other parts of Queensland and NSW?

6 – Does the Australian government think the world will really use more coal, not less, in the future under the Paris climate agreements?

“Huge importance is placed on the claimed 10,000 jobs Adani says it will create, yet under oath in court the company admitted only 1400 direct and indirect jobs would be created. Even that does not consider the miners’ stated plans to automate the entire project ‘from mine to port’, employing as few people as possible,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

“The economic claims now be propagated have reached an hysterical level with claims that the benefits of this one mine are ‘limitless’, ‘beyond comprehension’; a complete ‘game changer’ for Queensland; and ‘could revitalise the Queensland and national economy’.

“Such economic hyperventilations are a recipe for disaster as Queenslanders will inevitable be let down as the benefits do not transpire. Meanwhile other more cost effective productive, Labor intensive investment opportunities are forgone as Government’s focus on one very large, capital intensive, small employment coal mine.

“Queensland Treasury makes it clear that “spending on mining related infrastructure means less infrastructure spending in other areas, including social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.” Giving $1 billion to a foreign coal company is a choice to not spend $1 billion on infrastructure in our cities and town, on our schools and hospitals.

“If Malcolm Turnbull is unable answer these questions, he should rule-out handing over taxpayer subsidy to this project,” Oquist said.

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