The Coalpac project is a proposal to expand two coal mines owned by Coalpac, near Lithgow, NSW. In May 2014, The Australia Institute made a submission to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, focussing on the economic assessment of the project. Key points:
- The coal price used in the EIS is either inaccurate or assumes the proponents behave irrationally.
- If prices in the EIS are accurate, many benefits will accrue to international interests and should not be included in the assessment.
- Discussion of benefits passing through to electricity consumers is simplistic and ignores the nature of the National Electricity Market.
- Royalty, profit and tax estimates appear likely to be overstated
- Environmental costs are assigned a zero value, contrary to the positions of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) and the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) on impacts to this area.
- Non-market value of employment is based on thoroughly discredited studies
- Input output modelling results overstate the impacts of the project