The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee regarding the inquiry into the Environment and Infrastructure Legislation Amendment (Stop Adani) Bill 2017 (the Bill).
Our submission notes the merits of the Bill’s proposed amendments, in relation to the Adani coal mine but also more broadly, as the new tests would apply to any NAIF or EPBC assessments. We also note the substantial concerns about Adani’s corporate history, which would come under closer legal consideration in light of the new tests.
However, this submission outlines a more direct way to prevent the NAIF from subsidising new coal infrastructure, which is to legislate to prohibit NAIF subsidies to coal-related infrastructure. The NAIF Act could be amended to prevent it from funding coal infrastructure. This would not be an alternative, but a complement to the proposals in the Bill.
A further amendment could require the NAIF Board to the government’s international commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and to consider energy transition and climate risk.
The submission also outlines the need for a moratorium on any new coal mines, to protect both existing coal mines and jobs, and the environment.
The Australia Institute is a Canberra-based think tank with a research program covering a wide range of policy, economic and political topics – including on coal, subsidies, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and the Adani Carmichael coal project.