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Are We Going To Underwrite Adani – Since When Did We Become Socialist?

Ok, I was going to write about Trump’s attack on Syria and my confusion that some of the same people who were worried that Trump would react emotionally and attack another country are now applauding his actions because he reacted emotionally to the footage of the gas attack. And then I realised that I’d have hundreds of comments telling that it wasn’t Assad who launched the attack and then the comments would be filled with different conspiracy theories and I’d get a headache because I’d end up asking someone who said that prefered Trump to Hillary because at least he wasn’t responsible for bombing other countries now sees it as ok, while simultaneously accusing me of blindly swallowing everything I read…

Which sort of brings me to Adani…

Now, I know that some of you will tell us that Adani will bring jobs to Queensland and unemployment is high and people really need a job and if you don’t see that you’re no better than one of those “greenie vigilantes” trying to use the court system to test whether anything their doing is against the law. As The Australian told us: “After the 2015 meeting, Mr Adani said he had pressed Mr Turnbull to legislate to stop environmental groups delaying the project in the courts. The Abbott government’s attempt to amend the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop “vigilante” activists was stymied in the Senate a month before Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister.”

This use of the courts is, of course, just a delaying tactic because it’s not going to stop the mine. If anything is found to be against the law, then it’s a relatively simple matter to bring in legislation to change things. Take the proposed changes to native title, for example.

And I know that the Coalition’s statements on energy – apart from the oxymoronic nature of the idea of vigilantes using the courts – sounds to some of you like:

“We’re going to build a meth lab! It’s going to bring heaps of money in and it’ll create employment…”
“Shouldn’t we be trying to get people off drugs like ice?”
“No, no, it’s going to be part of our drug mix for the forseeable future and we intend to make cleaner ice than other countries so it’s really helping to improve the health of your average addict!”
“But ice is one of the worst drugs!”
“Now, now, we need to be agnostic about drugs. The most important thing is ensuring that supply isn’t interrupted and that we keep costs down!”

So when it was discovered – or alleged, let’s not be too cavalier with our words here – that Adani’s Abbot Point port had a coal spill which caused contamination, Adani was quick to point out that they were acting, quote, “within the requirements of the temporary emissions licence”, it’s caused a few of those green vigilantes to worry about a whole range of things… Like Adani being offered unlimited access to water for its mine. So when Adani doesn’t employ anyone, shifts the money to its Cayman Islands account and tells us all that it’s going to sell the water back to Queensland, will we be told that it’s acting within the requirements of its contract?

However, the thing that I find most puzzling is the idea that we need to find nearly a billion dollars for a dodgy company to ensure that they build a mine for a product – coal – that may not have a long-term future. Imagine what a boost to jobs in Northern Queensland if they instead just simply gave an interest-free loan of a million dollars to a thousand Queenslanders who wanted to start up a business. Granted, some of them would go broke, but they’d have provided a lot more employment than Adani in the meantime!

But of course, I am overlooking that we’re not doing this for the money. It’s not really about making a profit; it’s about being altruistic. As Malcolm Turnbull wrote in today’s paper: “Its (India’s) economic takeoff is lifting millions out of poverty, transforming the country into the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with forecasted growth of 7.5 per cent in 2017.” And Barnaby Joyce was also on radio telling us about how we needed to give Adani the billion for the railway line because it’s needed for the deal to go ahead. He, too, was talking about the millions in India being “lifted” out of poverty… Lifted? Doesn’t that make them leaners, if they need to be lifted? Anyway, it’s just about helping out our Indian neighbours. It’s a humanitarian act.

We’re such philanthropists. Makes one wonder why we keep cutting foreign aid.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    It must be stopped – never mind the envoironment, if it’s such a great project I am sure they won’t have any problem brorrowing the cash from a bank. This is NOT what taxpayer’s money is for. If there is a billion dollars sitting around looking for a project I reckon we could all come up with a few that are a TINY bit more important.

    Write to every Senator, make sure they understand that their job is on the line here. We are NOT a charity, we must NOPT give any money at all to this mob.

  2. Tina Clausen

    Came across this contribution by Rubens Camejo on an article about this in The Guardian. Worth reading.

    “This is a company that is a known tax evader. It has set up a web of companies to go into this project, some of which are in tax havens.

    All those companies lead to the ultimate benefit of the Adani family.

    Here we have the deputy PM advocating stridently for the head of that family that in 2013, paid for him Julie Bishop. Gina Reinhardt and The now retired lady politician from Brisbane, whose name escapes me, to attend his daughter’s wedding

    Mr Adani laid on a private jet to get the party to India. The invitations included small pure gold statuettes.

    The politicians found a way to Bill the tax payer for part of their return trips.

    You think something smells in this deal?

    It’s rotten to the core. The way Adani has set up this deal, he makes money even if the mine fails.

    What’s in it for the libs and Joyce or Bishop?

    I ask because I don’t see that lot giving two shites about the poor in India or even about India itself.

    They don’t give two shites about the homeless here nor the working poor the wages of the lowest paid, in fact they don’t give two shites about anyone needing government help in this THEIR country

    Now they want to risk $1 billion of our money on a loan to a guy that for intents and purposes means to pay as little tax here as possible and to avoid as much tax as possible in India?

    I mean, that is his country and where the poor people Joyce says we should help live

    Forget the environmental effects of such a mine going ahead.

    Just look at the deals and the people involved and the whole thing reeks of corruption .

    Helping the poor in India, yes, right!

    I’ve never read so much bullshit in my life”.

  3. Kyran

    “”That is a very important prime-ministerial commitment to getting on with it and dealing with it and identifying where the parties are close, where they’re apart,” Mr Turnbull said.”

    That is our deer leader, from this article;

    Updated half an hour ago. In the previous versions, he referenced ‘prime ministerial’ obligations, duties and responsibilities in respect of various matters, several times. It’s almost like he was trying to convince himself he was the prime minister.

    “But of course, I am overlooking that we’re not doing this for the money.”

    Isn’t that the point, Mr Brisbane? We are doing it for the money. It becomes a question of ‘who’s money?’. Socialize the loss, privatise the profit. Ms Clausen nailed it.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care

  4. pierre wilkinson

    massive corruption and collusion hidden somewhere in this deal

  5. babyjewels10

    I agree with all of the above. What amazes me most is that Turnbull and the LNP and the Queensland Labor Party are risking it all with this mine. Going against the wishes of the majority of the people means they won’t win the next election (one would think.) They are risking tourism jobs on the Queensland Coast, they are risking the reef. They are worsening climate change. What on earth is worth this risk?

  6. metadatalata

    The corruption is barely hidden. Look at the donations to the Liberal and National Parties and you would find direct links. There will be other golden parachute employment arrangements in place like those handed out to Kevin Andrews, former NT chief Adam Giles not to mention all those ex-ministers that become lobbyists for corporations.
    In Australia, we have about 4,000 lobbyists working every day, speaking to ministers and senior public servants and policy makers, seemingly without any record of this activity appearing anywhere and this is severely undermining our democracy. So even when nearly all Australians object to coal-seam gas extraction and coal mining in Australia, the government are working against the will of the majority of individuals and scientific advice.
    We need a change in governance. There is no other solution to the embedded corruption in politics.

  7. jedbarker

    The apparently over-caffeinated, over-acting, acting PM Joyce is repeating the “coal lifting millions out of poverty” mantra on ABC BreakfastRadio. All other issues aside, consider this:

    Adani says that it intends to use the coal for gigantic “super-critical combustion” electricity generators. These will be “cleaner” than “conventional” coal-fired generators. Nice, but these generators will be of many gigawatts capacity- much larger than the recently-closed Hazelwood power station.

    So what? Well, to reach the approximately 300 million Indians without electricity, poles and wires have to be constructed to take this “centrally generated” electricity to the 100,000 electricity-deficient and widely dispersed towns and villages.

    That much is obvious, but what is lacking from this discourse is the simple fact that-like Australia and elsewhere- “poles and wires” comprise almost HALF of the total cost of delivering the electricity- irrespective of whether the central generator is black coal, brown coal, nuclear or hydro. In fact, the Indians themselves have calculated the cost at about 1cent per km per kWh. That is, if the power station is 10km away from the village, 10 cents is added to the cost of each “unit” of electricity. An average total cost of about 25cents/kWh is envisaged-about the same as Australia’s average electricity cost. Except these people are- by their own PM’s admission- in poverty and cannot afford electricity at this price.

    The alternative of rooftop solar and local solar micro-grids is taking off all over the world. Even with batteries, the delivered price is cheaper than centrally-generated electricity -and available quicker. Many prefer to only use batteries for a few purposes like night-lighting keeping the cost to about half.

    Sure, centrally-generated power is more reliable-at least under Australian circumstances- but this is not Australia- have you ever seen the power poles in India?

    It’s really a battle between Super-capitalism vs Micro-capitalism. Small loans for local users and installers have proven popular and successful in both India and South America. And unlike coal, the more people that use solar, the cheaper it gets.

    Certainly, we will need coal-fired electricity for a couple more decades-and maybe using Australian anthracite coal will be a marginally better proposition than poorer-quality Indian coal. But this electricity is going to be used in the present cities, not in the above-mentioned 300 million Indians in rural poverty.

    Steady-up with the coffee, Barnaby. Or has Adani been plying you with Kool-Aid?

  8. Matters Not

    Turnbull and the LNP and the Queensland Labor Party are risking it all with this mine. Going against the wishes of the majority of the people

    The LNP and Labor are in the business of being in government. They need to win ‘seats’ to have the numbers on the floor so they can occupy the Treasury benches. That’s their base line – their starting point and their end point. Being in government is what matters. Nothing else does.

    For individual members, their one and only focus is to win their seat. That’s their base line. Winning the seat is what matters. Nothing else does.

    With that in mind look at Adani. It’s a company that promises much – and this is the crucial, fundamental, inescapable pointt – the desperate locals (voters one and all) believe it to be the case. They are as the drowning man:

    a drowning man will clutch at a straw. when hope of success is fading, people will try anything, no matter how unlikely it is that it will provide a solution.

    Both the LNP and Labor know this and that is why they must never destroy the hopes, dreams and desperate cluchings of the local voters. In a sense, they too are victims.

  9. Matters Not

    Adani promises to economically save the Central Queensland economy. The overwhelming majority of voting citizens in those electorates believe in those promises and will vote accordingly. Hence both the LNP and Labor support the Adani bullshit. They have no choice other than to drink the same kool aid. They can’t offer the locals any other option(s).

    They are in the business on winning government.

  10. Kronomex

    The bigger the “donations” and after suitable washing and laundering of said gifts the more the LNP (and Labor in Queensland no doubt) will bend over and open their cheeks for the corporate bicycles.

  11. Keith

    The LNP supporting the Carmichael mine is an extreme act of aggression towards Australians and the rest of the world.

    Coal dust kills, emissions from coal powered stations kills millions of people, and causes illness for millions of others. The greenhouse gases created are responsible for warm oceans and atmosphere; which create the environment for extreme weather conditions.
    A warm ocean and atmosphere allows for more water vapour to be taken up by the atmosphere which creates the circumstance for rain bombs to devastate an environment. Rain bombs have proven to be deadly through mud slides and flooding.

    Experiments that can be replicated show how greenhouse gases hold warmth, and such warmth allows for more water vapour to be taken up.

    Billions of dollars of damage have been caused by extreme weather events around Earth per Munich Reinsurance.

  12. Matters Not

    Kronomex, I think you will find that Adani has Labor support across Australia. Yes ‘donations’ can help create a ‘climate’ but when the locals already believe then ‘donations’ are a mere sideshow. In short, the locals are already convinced that Adani is their saviour. What’s up for grabs politically, is who will do the most to ensure that this dream is materialised. A race to the bottom? Sure is. But that’s the sate of politics in Australia at the moment. Sad!

  13. Michael Taylor

    MN, there’s a comment of yours in the deleted folder. Did you put it there or did it get caught up in the system?

  14. Matters Not

    MT. I wondered where it went. But that’s life. Things have now moved on.

    Again I’ve wasted my sweetness on the desert air. LOL. It matters not!

  15. Sam

    Not that they have/will fight it but if they did, is there anything Qld Labor could do that could prevent Adani and leave a future LNP Qld state government with no legal way to continue the project?

    Not that I’m not very disappointed in Qld Labor but the only thing stopping me from outright condemning them to the level of the LNP is that I’m thinking they believe there’s no chance of getting reelected if they fight this and they’re thinking its pointless to fight it if the LNP will almost certainly overturn any attempts to prevent it when they get in. However if they can put legislation in place now that can’t be overturned then they should go down with the political ship.

    I’d take another Qld Coalition government for a few years if it’d prevent Adani but I’d prefer to prevent them regaining Qld if it means we’d get Adani anyway.

  16. john ocallaghan

    Some things just never change do they?… It is still a case of ” follow the money” and i reckon quite a few politicians and commentators have all of a sudden developed a huge empathy for the ” poor” in India,and this strange and somewhat mysterious road to Damascus event has coincided with the renewed push by Adani and others to flog their dirty black rocks to these said unfortunate ”poor” Indians!
    I also maintain that interest in poor Indians by these people also coincides with the bank accounts of said politicians and commentators gaining a considerable amount of weight!

  17. Matters Not

    if they can put legislation in place now that can’t be overturned

    Is that desirable – as matter of principle? The outgoing Lib government in Victoria tried that stunt – signed contracts and all that – but it led to economic tears for the Victorian taxpayer. Gillard/Rudd did that with Gonski – and created a political problem – but not an insurmountable one.

    Re Adani, I am still of the view that it won’t proceed because the financial backing won’t be found. Nevertheless, both the ALP and the LNP will have clean hands because they tried.

  18. Terry2

    We know that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) contains the following proviso :

    ” The Facility must not provide a Financing Mechanism unless the Board is satisfied the Project would not otherwise have received sufficient financing from other financiers.”

    Barnaby Joyce has insisted that the NAIF is not a lender of last resort and Gautam Adani has said consistently that he does not need government assistance to finance the facility. So, our government seem to be using the NAIF loan of around $1 Billion as a carrot to entice Adani to proceed.

    This is so wrong, the NAIF was never designed for this type of political enticement. When the NAIF was set up we were told that it was there to fund new and innovative development in Northern Australia not bribing coal mine developers.

  19. burniebobthe_b_

    There was people power in the Franklin{I was into it too} but it seems that the ordinary voters in QLD aren’t all that opposed to the Carmichael coal mine.I would hate to see it turn out a flop like March In March if a Franklin like protest happened

  20. Rossleigh

    Terry2, there’s an interesting little article in today’s Financial Review which suggests that the NAIF could face legal action if it approved the loan to Adani before there was finance in place to ensure that the project was viable. Strange that this isn’t being reported in the articles where our PM and Deputy PM are spruiking the benefits of the loan on behalf of an overseas company to an “independent” body.
    To loosely quote Chomsky, you may not agree with the politics of the business pages but they are more concerned to get their facts right because when people lose money because you misreported, they tend to get more upset than your average reader.

  21. Johno

    Too true burnie. Though, didn’t many of the Franklin protesters come from all over Oz, not just within Tas ?

  22. helvityni

    You are all so mean; Mal is just being nice and he wants to help poor Indian peoples and give them special clean coal, what’s wrong with that…

    We can’t worry about the Great Barrier Reef, coz that is just nature, and we have to put peoples first, especially when they are poor like the Indians. Mal can’t worry about everybody, if people in Australia are jobless and don’t have houses, it’s because they are lazy, they are bludgers…

    Mal would even carry coal to Newcastle, if he was England’s Prime Minister. He’s almost as kind as Trump, they both cry for the Syrian bombed children, that’s why trump too had to do a little bit of bombing….

  23. burniebobthe_b_

    They did indeed but during my time I’d guess 60% were locals.
    Don’t get me wrong I oppose the Adani mine myself but fear the days of Franklin like protests may be a thing of the past now.The March in March farce where only 1500 or so mobilised Australia wide in rallies that were supposed to cover all things evil is an example.
    I reckon the situation has now moved to the bloody dumb situation of thinking all protests can be done from the comfort of home on Tweets or Facebook or a dozen or so regulars on sites convincing each other that they are winning.
    A bullet was dodged by the MSM and the Liberals not using the lack of support for Marchin March to argue only a handful opposed all they were doing and they might be smarter if an Adani Carmichael rally flopped
    Nowadays it is easier to sigh a Getup petition or similar than hit the streets and bask in the glory that you did your bit
    A Jim Cairns ressurection might help but the current lot of politicians don’t have the ticker of the 70s lot to LEAD

  24. Johno


    You could be right. I guess time will tell. Get Up are doing a great job.

  25. Terry2

    Hello helvityni

    It’s not only the Great Barrier Reef that is at risk when you are exporting to India ; you also have to navigate the Torres Strait which is not the case with exports to China/Japan etc.

    So many things to consider.

  26. Kaye Lee

    The seven-member NAIF board charged with overseeing the fund has been paid almost $500,000 and has met just four times.

  27. Terry2

    With the budget deficit – expenditure in excess of revenue – for 2016/17 currently estimated at $36.5 billion and probably higher once the May budget is announced, the proposed loan to Adani will presumably have to be funded by us borrowing the money to give to Adani.

    Go figure !

  28. helvityni

    Terry2, the only way to cope with today’s Oz politicians is to make fun of them, if not, I’ll sink into a deep despair…

    What a total turncoat Mr Turnbull has turned out to be…god, how much I already miss John Clarke.

  29. guest

    The Carmichael mine has already been put under close scrutiny according to the facts we know. It has been found lacking on every point. It is pie-in-the-sky rubbish. There are already 40 coal mines in Qld. The Adani mine has no future any more than the other 40.

    India is stopping importation of coal. It is working on solar power and cookers for the poor.

    But we (such a generous country) want to lift the poor out of poverty, With coal they do not want?
    Yet we cannot raise our own poor out of poverty. If we think the Adani mine will do it for us, we are mistaken.

    The mine will provide thousands of jobs, they say. (We are such an unimaginative country.) But the fact is that there will be few jobs arising.

    In the Australian today (12/4/17) is an article attacking Bill Shorten for not approving the mine. What is obvious is that the article is merely a piece of political propaganda which spruiks the vague and nebulous notions of poverty, jobs and growth. It says nothing about the business model of the Adani mine.

    Nothing about India’s projected need for coal; nothing about the health effects of mining and transporting coal; nothing about the effects on the environment, such as water; nothing about the effects on the Great Barrier Reef; nothing about Climate Change; nothing about the financing of the project and the financial benefits for Oz; nothing about the projected life of the mine; nothing about the very real possibility it will become “stranded assets”.

    Yet all of this has been discussed in the independent media at least, and elsewhere (but not in Murdoch – the champions of investigative journalism.) (LOL)

    Meanwhile Turnbull pontificates on his Prime Ministerial “obligations, duties and responsibilities”. He is in fact a traitor to his own avowed principles – just so he can be PM in name.

    The mine should not be approved at all. Shame on Qld Labor.

  30. bobrafto

    my calculations are that the 9 bil of water Adani will use every year is equivalent to 3,500 olympic swimming pools or a river stretching from Brisbane to Byron Bay, 174km long, 25 metres wide 2 metres deep.

  31. guest

    Last night on The Drum Warren Mundine told us that the mine will help to lift 300m Indians out of poverty. They are compelled to burn bio-mass – ie, wood and cow pats – and this has bad effects.

    What does he think coal is if not ancient bio-mass?

    And these poor people will have to pay for electricity they cannot afford? Never mind the effort being put into solar lighting and cooking pots.

    Then he told us about all the jobs the Adani mine will create: “tens of thousands”, according to our “agile, innovative” PM.

    What kind of far-off fantasy land do these people inhabit?

    That section of The Drum ended in a shouting match.

  32. Halfbreeder

    Guest they are just liars looking to divert public money and assets to cronies who will donate to their political campaignes. My bet is the liberals either have got or will get a large donation from adani in exchange for the ‘loan’ of $1bill of public funds. I also bet Turnbull raised a donation from adani on his recent visit to india. This is what happened with Gina Reinhardt when Martin Fergusen allowed her 1500 457 visas to build the Royce Hill coal mine. Scumbag Fergusen touted the mine as generating 000’s of jobs for aust when completed but it turned out to produce none due to automation. Reinhardt then donated 500K to the ALP after getting the visas. Corruption.

  33. Terry2


    I was quite surprised with Mundine’s angry reaction to the question which was about whether Australian taxpayers should lend close to a billion dollars to Adani : he failed to address that question but got very emotional about the native title holders in the area being close to 100% in favour of the mine – based on a vote of less than 300 people.

    Strange stuff !


    adani is attempting to.pull off one of the great swindles in history. the great adani con job. the politicians who allow this ‘odious’ loan to adani will have to pay for it personally when adani defaults not the aust people.


    adani is attempting to.pull off one of the great swindles in history. the great adani con job. the politicians who allow this ‘odious’ loan to adani will have to oay for it personally not the aust people.

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