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Adani: some inconvenient truths

By Phil Gorman

Let the facts speak for themselves.

Queensland’s workforce

  • 2.36 million people are employed in Queensland.
  • The tourist industry directly or indirectly employs 217,000 Queenslanders.
  • Coal mining directly or indirectly employs around 20,000 Queenslanders.
  • Adani’s mine would directly or indirectly create about 1,500 jobs.


Key state government statistics reveal that, “The tourist industry directly and indirectly employs 217,000 Queenslanders – or 9.1% of all people employed in Queensland.

Tourism contributes $12.8 billion directly to the Queensland economy, accounting for 3.9% of Queensland’s gross state product (GSP).

“The industry indirectly contributes an additional $12.5 billion to the state’s economy, making the total contribution $25 billion, or 7.8% of total Queensland GSP.” (i)

Coal mining

  • Coal mining employs less than 1 percent of Queensland’s workers. (ii)
  • From a high point of 30,000 in 2013 coal mining currently employs around 20,000 people.
  • All mining (coal, gas and other resources) are projected to shed 7,400 jobs by 2020.
  • The Carmichael Mine would create only 1,500 new jobs.
  • The Carmichael Mine would mean an unknown number of job losses in other industries.

According to Commonwealth Department of Employment projections Australia’s coal miners will cut their workforce by a further 21 percent by the end of 2020.

The Australia Institute’s “Facts on jobs, and coal in Queensland” shows, “The coal industry has always been a minor employer in Queensland. At its peak it employed fewer people than the arts and recreation industry, but in recent years it has shrunk further, shedding 10,000 jobs in Queensland and now representing less than 1 percent of the state’s workforce.”

Coal industry lobbyists and the Murdoch media unduly influence most politicians and misinform the people. Despite the industry’s increasing displacement of workers with new technology many Queensland voters still believe the “jobs, jobs, jobs” propaganda. Declining investment has already meant a 35% cut in the coal workforce.

At the same time Queensland has experienced a growth in employment. “This is a practical demonstration of the fact that jobs and growth come from a broader range of industries, in particular health, education and services,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

Adani: impacts, lies, boasts and damned lies

Adani has an international history of flouting the law, of bribery, corruption and ignoring its environmental commitments. It has created environmental havoc abroad without redress. It has already ignored the interests and desires of many local Aboriginal people.

The Carmichael Mine would destroy local ecosystems, including the habitat of a rare finch. It would accelerate global warming, spreading coral die-off on the Great Barrier Reef. This threatens Queensland’s tourist industry. Any damage to local ecosystems and water tables can have wide ranging consequences for agricultural, pastoral and fishing industries. These impacts have yet to be fully accounted for by Adani’s researchers.

Despite continuing reservations expressed by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia the government has pushed through another environmental permit to placate the Queensland right in the elections.

In 2015 Adani’s economic adviser, Jerome Fahrer of ACIL Allen consulting, told the Queensland Land Court, “Over the life of the Project it is projected that on average around 1,464 employee years of full time equivalent direct and indirect jobs will be created”.

These job projections would include Adani’s own employees and indirect job creation flowing from the economic benefits to local business. (iii)

Under oath Mr Fahrer was forced to reject Adani’s claim of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs being created by its mining operation over the projected lifetime of the Carmichael Mine. He said; “It’s not many jobs. We can agree on that.”

At the 2017 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, Adani Mining CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraju, boasted that the operation is to be fully automated. “When we ramp up the mine, everything will be autonomous, from mine to port. In our eyes this is the mine of the future.”

Adani and its loyal proponents still falsely claim that 10,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created by its mining operation over the projected lifetime of the Carmichael Mine.

The undue influence of the extractive industries in this country has corrupted due process and distorted the economy. It has led to massive environmental damage, accelerated global warming and undermined the public good. It is to be hoped that the new Commonwealth Government will put the environmental and public good first for a change.

Adani must be stopped. This would be a first step towards restoring a degree of trust in our democratic institutions.


i Queensland Bureau of Statistics: Key Torim Statistics 2018 https://www.qld.gov.au/Key tourism statistics

ii Australia Institute “Facts on jobs, and coal in Queensland”. ABS Cat no. 6291.0.55.001 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, 2 ABS Cat no. 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia,3 Department of Employment (2016) 2016 Industry Employment Projections – five years to November 2020, 4 Department of Employment (2016) Regional.

iii Adani sticks with 10,000 jobs lie. Leith van Onslen in Macrobusiness, 2018-02-07, Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

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  1. Ken

    The heading says it all !

  2. Kaye Lee

    The W&J council have Adani’s dodgy Indigenous Land Use Agreement under appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court in late May. Interestingly, Adani have used their “attack dog” lawyers strategy of “playing the man” to try to bankrupt a spokesman for the traditional owners and anti-corruption campaigner Tony Fitzgerald stepped in coughing up $50,000 of his own money towards the fight. Even the UN have called on the government to review the Indigenous Land Use Agreement where Adani bussed Aboriginal people in and paid them to vote in favour of the mine even though they were not actually part of the families who hold native title.

    Youth spokesperson for the W&J Traditional Owners Council, Ms Murrawah Johnson, said, “Adani didn’t negotiate and achieve the free prior informed consent of the W&J people. The meeting, which Adani and its barrackers claim achieved consent, with a 294 to 1 vote, is as fake as its ILUA. It is not a true expression of the W&J Traditional Owners.

    “Over 220 of the attendees at Adani’s meeting are people who have never been involved in the W&J claim or decision making, and who are identified with other nations and claims, or didn’t identify an apical descent line.

    “Many people were bussed in and paid for at Adani’s considerable expense. The majority of the claim group, which have three times rejected an ILUA with Adani, refused to participate in this stitch up of a meeting. They stayed away.” she said.

  3. Allan

    Adani have a bad track record in India…
    They have breached two pollution conditions already in Queensland near Port Abbott.
    Adani lack social conscious and flout pollution laws on many occasions in India.
    With their track record there is little confidence they will maintain their duty of care for the environment.
    Also shipping of coal from Port Abbott will add to global Biosphere Collapse where the coal is burnt adding to the existence of Environment pollution by way of CO2 Methane CH4 and Hg Mercury gas emissions .
    Adani put profit above most other concerns

  4. Bronte ALLAN

    Tens of thousands of jobs will go if Adani does not gets its way with this effing useless & NOT “needed” bloody mine! Just ads to the endless number of lies & half truths that the COALition & the QLD parliament have been sprouting for years now. There is NO need for another bloody coal mine hee in Australia, nor is there any need for Adani to try to steamroll their way into Australia. What a bunch of bloody crooks, liars & general idiots they all are!

  5. Keith

    The Adani submission reviewed by CSIRO and Geoscience Australia found holes in the report regarding use of water resources.
    The former Aral Sea is an example of where fresh water resources have been over utilised causing the sea to be lost altogether. The Great Artesian Basin is at risk. We also have the Murray/Darling system showing how extreme caution is required to maintain suitable water flow. Yet, the Minister made what under the circumstances can be seen to be a reckless decision. To maintain health individuals need clean water, a non polluted atmosphere, and uncontaminated food. It seems that as long as there are dollars in it, ensuring health is not a high priority of the LNP.

    The Adani mine should not have been considered anyway on the basis that scientists have very clearly stated that fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Coal equals death. Death from coal dust, and death from the emissions created. Worldwide millions have died from the emissions of fossil fuels, many other people have health problems. Those are factors without taking into account climate change.

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