“The Music Man Musical The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys’ band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive Iowa townsfolk, promising to train the members of the new band. Harold is no musician, however, and plans to skip town without giving any music lessons.”
Now, I have this great idea to help ease unemployment in Queensland. I’d like to do a remake of the film version of “The Music Man”. It’d create heaps of work because apart from technical crew and professional actors, unemployed people could be used as extras. Then there’s the catering and work building sets. Let’s not forget work for taxis and Uber drivers ferrying people around. Of course, I’m a man of limited means so I’d like the government to stump up a billion dollars for me to set up the film studio and to take care of all the expenses. I’d also like a tax holiday, so if the film actually makes money, I don’t want to start paying anything back to the government till after 2027…
Ok, for those of you who think that I’m not serious and that I’m just trying to make some point about Adani, you’re overlooking the obvious. The big difference is that my proposal would actually create a large number of jobs, whereas Adani is planning an automated mine. The differences don’t end there, of course.
I know that I’ve tried to make the point many times and that people tend to dismiss it, prefering to get all worked up about the environmental damage that coal causes, or talk about the dire employment situation in North Queensland, but Adani is using the mine as an asset in order to keep the rest of the company viable. As soon as they admit that they have no realistic prospect of getting anyone with any sense to finance them, then they have to write down the value of their assets, making it more difficult for rest of the company to keep going. In reality, it’s a bit like the stamp collection you inherited from Uncle Charlie. While the face value of the stamps is only $352 dollars, your uncle told you that he’s got a lot of really valuable first editions and you’ll be a rich man once you take it to the dealers. On the basis of this, you promise to shout your friends dinner and drinks at your local hotel. However, once you got them valued, you discover that you’ll be lucky to get more than the face value. At this point, you decide not to tell your friends the truth, but tell them that you’ll sell when the market goes up.
For some reason, people seem to have no memory when it comes to Adani. For example, there was an announcement that the mine would start in October. Now maybe things have started and I’ve just missed the story. Or maybe they didn’t mean the next October, maybe they meant October 2027. Whatever, I can’t find anything about them actually starting. Although the company did include in its plan of operations an intention to re-establish signs at the site sometime before Christmas. For all I know, this may have happened.
As the company itself acknowledges, they can’t start until they get finance. That’s finance for the mine, not finance from NAIF to build a rail, which is being built under a slight variation to the normal Public/Private partnership. Normally, private industry uses its capital and expertise to build the thing and government’s pay it off over time paying off the project with interest, but avoiding the need to find large capital amounts. In this case, the government intends to stump up the finance and the company pays it back over time with no interest. Mm, “The Music Man” is looking more viable every minute.
Finance for the mine is even more problematic because most financial institutions don’t like to lend money to things like my proposal for film studios in North Queensland because they fear that I may not be able to pay them back because my ability to turn a profit is uncertain. Of course, lending money to Adani for a coal mine is very different. In Adani’s case, there’s no uncertainty; it’s not profitable. There’s nobody stupid enough to lend them money, apart from Matt Canavan and even he hasn’t managed to get’s his mum’s permission to do it.
So, Queensland has been a disaster for Pauline Hanson’s One Notion and the LNP. Before the election, One Notion were talking about holding the balance of power and winning seats. Now they’re talking like a football coach who tells you that they’d be premiership contenders if only they’d won more actual games and were in the finals. The LNP not only failed to win government, but their primary vote collapsed in a number of seats.
Prediction for the week: At some point, a Federal minister will say that Queensland was about state issues and has no implications for Turnbull. Nobody will ask them why Adani isn’t a country wide issue.