Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie made an amazing admission in an interview on Sky but nobody (except The Australia Institute) seemed to notice.
“[Adani will] be employing 1500 through the construction phase and around about 100 ongoing.”
Just to emphasise, that’s 100 ongoing jobs – not 10,000, not 1500 – ONE HUNDRED.
Considering Ms McKenzie is an avid Adani fan girl, the “around about” makes even the 100 jobs dubious. After all, Adani told investors the whole project would be automated from mine to port (meaning driverless trucks and trains to reduce on labour costs i.e. jobs)
Compare that to Queensland’s renewable energy projects committed since 2015: 5687 construction jobs & 273 ongoing. Projects proposed: 33975 construction jobs & 1,562 ongoing.
The Australia Institute points out how comparatively insignificant coal-mining is as an employer.
Across Australia, coal mining accounts for half of one percent of all jobs (0.5%)
In Queensland, coal mining is just 1.1% of all Queensland jobs. Coal mining comes in far behind far bigger employers like health, education, retail, agriculture, public administration, construction, as well as accommodation and food services, which is heavily linked to tourism, and manufacturing.
In North Queensland, coal mining is the eleventh biggest industry, accounting for 4% of jobs, meaning 96% of North Queenslanders do not work in coal mining.
There are around 40,000 jobs in tourism in reef regions on the North Queensland coast — twice as many as in coal mining, according to ABS data. Other estimates put the number higher at 59,000.
If the infrastructure for Adani is built, it is likely that the rest of the Galilee will be developed. Putting millions of tonnes of new coal into a stagnant and falling market will drive down the price of coal and put existing coal-mining jobs at risk – an estimated 13,000 according to TAI.
Aside from the jobs discussion, climate change must be a consideration not just on environmental grounds but on economic ones too.
According to TAI, inaction on climate change could cost Australia $131 billion per year, excluding natural disasters that already cost Australia over $18 billion per year.
Under the carbon price period, Australia successfully reduced emissions by 2% while the economy grew by 5% showing the economic impacts of taking action are minor compared to the catastrophic consequences of inaction.
Before the Queensland government caves in to bullying to approve a groundwater management plan that the experts have told them is inadequate, they must come clean about the real job opportunities for a handful of people in NQ coal-mining vs the job losses in other mines and industries and the effect more coal will have on the existing market.
For the sake of “around about 100 jobs” are we really prepared to cook the planet?
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