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The only job coming from the Adani mine is a ‘con – job’

By Michael Griffin

Adani’s much repeated claim that 10,000 jobs will be generated by its Carmichael coal mining project in Queensland has been contradicted in that State’s Land Court by its own expert, Jerome Fahrer, in sworn evidence. Consequently, the dishonest, false and misleading claim for 10,000 jobs, still being absurdly repeated by many politicians, such as the LNP’s George Christensen, in order to win public consent for the mine project, is completely discredited. The claim for jobs created by the Adani mine project has now been revised down to 1,464 direct and indirect ‘equivalent full-time work years’ over the entire 25 or 60 year lifespan of the mine.

In my previous AIMN article, published on 31 May 2017 and entitled The ‘odious’ Adani coal mine, I showed that by unpacking the term ‘equivalent full-time work years’ in order to explain what this term actually meant, only between approximately 25 and 58 ongoing jobs would be created over the entire lifespan of the mine not 1,464 full-time on going jobs for everyday of the life of the mine as Fahrer’s statement is now being interpreted. In that article I quoted Adani CEO Jeyakumar Janakara, who formerly ran a mining company in Zambia that had pleaded guilty to serious environmental harm, when he said in Global Mining Newsletter edition 4 April 2016 that ‘… everything will be automated from mine to pit. In our eyes, this will be the mine of the future’. I included that quote to explain how such a limited amount of job creation can come about and showed that, as the mine will be fully automated, it will require only minimal inputs of human labour.

Townsville Council Sackings to Pay for Adani’s Airport

However, recent announcements by, and related to, Adani and its mine have now put even the downwardly revised job number in doubt. On 31 October 2017 it was revealed that Townsville and Cairns City Councils had not only agreed to jointly fund the airport for the mine at a staggering $18.5 million and $15 million respectively, but that the Townsville Council had also sacked 140 council workers in order to pay its share of the cost of the airport’s construction. My guess is that the loss of those 140 council jobs has not been included in the ‘direct and indirect jobs’ that the mine will allegedly create. If it wasn’t, then it should be and the new revised job number should be revised further downward to 1,324 jobs or ‘equivalent full-time work years’ (i.e.1,464 minus 140).

Of course, if the 140 job losses from Townsville Council are offset against the job numbers I estimate in my previous article then the direct and indirect jobs ‘created’ by the mine would already be in the negative. That is, jobs losses would outweigh the jobs created for the mine by between approximately 80 and 120 jobs – depending on the actual life span of the mine.

CHAFTA: Foreign Workers at the Mine

But this not the end of Adani’s miraculous job ‘creation’ story. On 2 November 2017 it was widely reported in various media that Adani had all but secured funding for the mine project from China Machinery Engineering Corporation (‘CMEC’), a Chinese Government owned company that was interested in participating in the project as a joint investor and co-owner of the project on conditions that it would receive some equity in the project, be awarded the contract for the construction and management of the mine and of the railway line and also on condition that it would receive a management contract from Adani for an Adani coal importing business in China.

If this occurs, this would mean that not only would Australians be subsidising a Chinese communist party controlled corporation and an Indian billionaire in their enterprises, but as the builder of the mine and of the railway, CMEC would, under the Chinese Australia Free Trade Agreement (‘ChAFTA’) entered into by the LNP government with the Chinese Government in December 2015, be able to take advantage of Article 10.4.3 and of the Memorandum of Understanding on Work Visa as an accompanying document to ChAFTA and bring in up to 5000 Chinese workers for the purpose of constructing the mine, port and railway infra-structure for the mine. Not that they would need 5000 workers.

Article 10.4.3 ChAFTA says that neither side shall:

… impose or maintain any limitations on the total number of visas to be granted to natural persons of the other Party; or require labour market testing, economic needs testing or other procedures of similar effect as a condition for temporary entry.

The Memorandum of Understanding on Work Visa of ChAFTA states:

Australia will grant annually, according to its laws and procedures, up to 5,000 multiple entry “Work and Holiday” visas or authorisations for temporary stay for a period of twelve (12) calendar months to nationals of the People’s Republic of China …

If CMFE activates and relies upon these provisions, as is most likely the case, then no Australian will be employed at the Carmichael mine site at all and, most likely, only a handful of Chinese workers will be.

Something ‘Very Smelly’

On the ABC TV’s Q & A programme on Monday 30 October 2017, conservative radio commentator Allan Jones expressed bewilderment at how any government could consider supporting, let alone funding, a project that promises to wreak havoc upon the priceless and irreplaceable Great Barrier Reef, upon the Australian and global environment, at a cost up to 70,000 Reef related tourist jobs and at the cost of the loss of prime agricultural land. Jones went so far as to say:

There’s something very smelly about this that the Federal Liberal Government, the Federal Labor Opposition, the Queensland Labor Government and the Queensland Liberal Opposition all have got their hands up saying they’re going to support this entity.

Here are these companies tipping in money to the major political parties… There has to be something on here. There’s got to be people knocking on people’s doors with money saying, ‘please vote for us. Please support all of this’. They’re throwing any amount of money at getting approval.

Jones’ strong statements imply that he suspects corruption and conspiracy is involved in the various Government decisions made in support of the Adani project. Regardless of one’s opinion of Jones, in this instance one suspects he may be right. Adani is known for bribery and corruption wherever it goes. An ABC report on 22 December 2016 stated this:

According to a 2011 report by the ombudsman of the Indian State of Karnataka, obtained by the ABC, police seized documents from Adani Enterprises in raids “which indicate that money has been regularly paid to port authorities, customs authorities, police department, mines and geology and even to MLAs/MPs.

There is no reason to believe it would have changed its tactics and attitudes for this project.

It is now well known that Adani will hold its stakes in, and its entitlement to dividends and profits from, the mine, its stakes in the Abbot Point port and in the connecting railway line within a complex network of Cayman Island family trusts and family companies and, thereby, will avoid paying tax in Australia or, at least, significantly reduce its tax liability in Australia. This is on top of the $600 million in deductions, subsidies, unlimited water permits, fee remissions and royalty holidays Adani will now obtain from the Queensland government and on top of any low interest loan it may obtain from the Australian Government.

Noticeably, Adani’s Cayman Island companies are the same types of Cayman companies in which Malcolm Turnbull himself also has interests. It is also well known that Malcolm Turnbull donated and loaned an amount of $1.75 million to the Liberal Party in September 2016 just a few months after he had an extended four hour meeting with Adani owner Gautam Adani on 4 December 2015. Given the proximity of these events, one could be forgiven for concluding that they are curiously related in the same way Turnbull’s meeting at the Lodge with Rupert Murdoch and the subsequent gift of $30 million of public money to Murdoch were also approximate in time and related. Hence, it is open to conclude from these facts that Adani made a loan to Turnbull through a Cayman Island company and that Turnbull then relent that amount on to the Liberal Party as his $1.75 million ‘donation’.

Perhaps this is the ‘very smelly’ thing that Alan Jones intuited about in the ABC’s Q & A program.

Whichever way you look at it, no Australian comes out a winner from the Adani project. The only Australian ‘job’ perceivably arising from the Adani mine is the ‘con-job’ Adani and those insidious, treacherous and inept politicians who support it are committing against the Australian people.

© Michael Griffin


26 comments

  1. Shevill Mathers

    This proposed coal mine is wrong in every possible way. The so called jobs created will be very small in number, how many will be 457 visa workers from overseas?, the land degradation will be enormous, the ground water will be contaminated forever, the great barrier reef trashed along with tourism etc. Coal (poor quality) mined from here and burnt overseas still adds pollution and climate change gases-all irreversible. The drive for immediate money making is pure greed and Australia/Australian’s will gain very little benefit from this venture. Once again, overseas companies will own another large chunk of Australia. The proponents of this mine have very short sighted views indeed-mainly self interest.

  2. jimhaz

    I will not be annoyed if the QLD ALP loses the election on this issue. Immoral or incompetent self protective political actions need to come at a cost. There is enough ammunition to explain to the public why it should not be supported – but the ALP has gone the weak way to not give the LNP the excuse to target them on this.

  3. Matters Not

    … revealed that Townsville and Cairns City Councils had not only agreed …

    Wrong! Cairns is not Rockhampton. Many kilometres apart. Perhaps a little fact checking might be in order?

  4. jim

    Fed Labor won’t support the 2 billion loan .

  5. Spindoctor

    The Palaszczuk Government is stuck between a rock and a hard place as they desperately need jobs post mining boom collapse in NQ so they say they support it but $$ must come from the feds and they would love a federal decision not to fund it. . Marginal seats and the mayoralty of Townsville hang on Labor support for the mine continuing while Adani opponents crash election stunts. its a mess but electorally Labor has to support it as the Nationals support it totally and the environment be damned. If Labor could come up with jobs through solar power, tourism or other new infrastructure projects it would save their bacon but since the mining boom revenue funds are way down so they face limited choices.

  6. Harquebus

    Adani is part of a much bigger picture. ‘Jobs’ and ‘growth’ are ideologies that need to be contested. High unemployment and economic contraction are requirements for environmental restoration.

  7. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!

    Spindoctor: “Marginal seats and the mayoralty of Townsville hang on Labor support for the mine continuing while Adani opponents crash election stunts”. Don’t know if that’s true anymore. Opinion has turned against the mine even in Townsville. 50% of Townsvilliens now oppose the mine so the electorate is evenly split. They now realise the job claims are, as this article says, ‘a con-job’ and now with the sacking of 140 council workers to pay for the airstrip they can see all the BS. Yes ALP in a difficult spot as many of the approvals seem to have been given before they took office but once funding is obtained from the Chinese, it won’t be possible to stop this mine from going ahead by lawful means.

  8. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!

    In any event Green preferences will flow to the ALP and/or if Greens get in they will likely form and alliance with the ALP anyway. Hence, I don’t see the point of remaining quiet on this issue in order to help ALP’s chances in the Qld election.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    jimhaz, Labor is reliant on the Katter vote to stay in government, and Katter is really pro Adani, so….. but if all the stringent requirements are not met, then hopefully the mine will not go ahead. If, on the other hand, the COALition and Phon get in, then it will be full sped ahead captain, don’t worry about the reef.

  10. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!

    all the requirements have been met.The mine can go ahead it just needs finance.

  11. nurses1968

    OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES!
    The Greens preferences are not always as you would assume .Antony Green ABC article indicates up to 25% of Greens second preferences go to the Liberals
    Where they have the oppotunity, again it isn”t always as it seems taking the most recent W.A. State election as a guide
    Labor preferenced the Greens directly after the Labor candidates in all Upper House . however the Greens wouldn’t reciprocate the arrangement
    They decided their Group Ticket Vote would be preferenced

    Agricultural Region
    The Greens preferenced Labor 11 to 14 behind Micro Business party,Flux the System!,Daylight Saving Party,Fluoride Free

    East Metropolitan Region
    The Greens preferenced Labor 14 to 19 behind Animal Justice,Micro Business party,Flux the System!,Daylight Saving Party,Fluoride Free WA

    Mining and Pastoral Region

    The Greens preferenced Labor 12 to 15 behind Micro Business party,Flux the System!,Daylight Saving Party,Fluoride Free WA and Darby Renton Independent

    North Metropolitan Region

    The Greens preferenced Labor 17 to 22 behind Animal Justice,Micro Business party,Michael Tucak Independent,Joe Ruzzi,Flux the System!,Daylight Saving Party,Fluoride Free WA
    with Labors proven performer Alannah MacTiernan at 17

    South Metropolitan Region

    The Greens preferenced Labor 19 to 24 behind Socialist Alliance,Animal Justice,Micro Business party,Frank Brown and Laona Jones Independents,Flux the System!,Fluoride Free WA

    South West Region,

    The Greens preferenced Labor 14 to 19 behind Animal Justice,John Higgins Independent,Micro Business party,Flux the System!,Daylight Saving Party,Fluoride Free WA

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/wa-election-2017/guide/gtv/

    “they will likely form and alliance”
    Not sure about that. and peopple shouldn’t hold false hope on that
    At the last State election Ms Palaszczuk said she would do “no, no, no, no deals” with crossbench MPs to form minority government.
    This time she has declared No deals with PHON, is expected to make the same announcement soon about Greens

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not enter into a deal with One Nation, even if it means losing government.
    “I’m prepared to put it all at risk.”

  12. Johno

    Reef, oh yeah, and don’t forget the 700 km mangrove die off across the top end. Cc will have bigger fish to fry, us.

  13. nurses1968

    Interesting
    On Crikeys poll bludger site it show Ladbrokes the Book makers now have Tim Nicholls favourite for Premier
    Ladbrokes betting odds
    QUEENSLAND ELECTION
    Party of Premier
    Labor
    $1.95
    LNP
    $1.83

  14. Barry

    Google ‘CMEC and corruption’:
    “According to a secret memo presented to Cabinet, Chinese industrial giant (CMEC) quoted Namibia’s Ministry of Works and Transport an astronomical N$1,63billion for the construction of 62 kilometers of the Oshikango-Ondangwa railway, nearly ten times the cost of a project of similar size only four years ago.
    China had offered Namibia a loan of N$300 million on condition that the Namibian government waivers all tender procedures and contracts CMEC to do the work, although CMEC’s quote was ten times more expensive than South African and German railway construction companies in the same league.”
    http://iaafrica.com/china-heavily-overcharges-namibia-for-railway-projects/

    But Australia is different, we’ve got kangaroos.
    Nonetheless, will CMEC inflate the cost of construction for tax purposes?
    Could they at a later date feign financial distress and request govt assistance in the form of some kind of equity swap deal to their advantage?
    The Adani deal gets more shonky by the day. We truly have 2nd rate pollies running the place and a hopeless media propaganda unit to match.

  15. jimhaz

    [On Crikeys poll bludger site it show Ladbrokes the Book makers now have Tim Nicholls favourite for Premier]

    Not surprising as Palaszczuk sounds and acts like a person with an IQ of 100…absolutely mundane

  16. Pinin Pinchfist

    Auz politicians being outsmarted every step of the way by Adani.

  17. Frank Smith

    I am very fearful that we will go back to an odious LNP government here in Qld. I see this happening primarily as a result of stitch-ups between LNP power brokers and PoorLean’s PHON nutjobs. As this article points out these grossly over-inflated jobs numbers are myths that few believe any more. Labor may well be campaigning with one hand tied behind their back as a result of previous deals done between Adani and the previous corrupt Newman/Nicholls/Seany LNP government. We don’t know for sure because the facts are hidden from us voters by these stupid “commercial in confidence” provisions. These are our resources, this is our environment to care for, these are our taxpayers dollars, these are our royalties – how dare these spin doctors and lawyers hide essential information from us as “commercial in confidence”. We desperately need some informed whistleblowers.

  18. Chris

    thank you Michael, please keep speaking truth to power.

    Ashamed to be an Aussie with sort of shit and the poor men at Manus Island.

    Funny how they took all the women and children first…

  19. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    jimhaz. ” not surprising as Palaszczuk sounds and acts like a person with an IQ of 100…absolutely mundane” 100! thats high for australian standards. the aust average is only 95. shes way above the average.

  20. Terry2

    As far as I’m aware it has consistently been the case that the Queensland government expected the Adani mine, if it were to proceed, to do so without government financial support .

    The whole NAIF thing has been suspicious from the start with conflicts of interest on the Board and secrecy throughout despite the fact that they are handling public money.

    The confirmation that the Queensland government will not sign off on the Adani concessional loan is OK with me.

  21. Frank Smith

    With respect to the NAIF loan, I agree with the comment of Terry2 . Further, it concerns me that Canavan is the Minister responsible for signing off on any recommendations from this secretive compromised NAIF Board – he is far from being an “objective Minister” on this matter.

  22. paul walter

    Of course…CHAFTA!

    How many of the handful of jobs coming from this project actually open to Australians?

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