Earlier this morning I heard a rather strange interview with ACL head, Lyle Shelton, where he was suggesting that the police announcement that the explosion outside the Australian Christian Lobby office wasn’t motivated by politics or religion was “just a belief”. There was no way the police could know what motivated the perpetrator because they’d only spoken to him and that wasn’t enough to be sure so, while he hoped that they were right, he kept insisting that it was more likely to a result of their opposition to safe schools or marriage equality and until the police could prove otherwise, they were just acting on a belief.
Gee, I thought, the head of the Christian Lobby suggesting that a belief wasn’t enough – it’ll be a while before I hear anything as strange as that interview. I’d already read the news about George Christensen suggesting that the Liberal Party was “conservative” enough and that they had to start appealing to people like Bernardi and him or the party would be in trouble. He then tried to inflict maximum damage on the Turnbull government by announcing that he had no plans to leave the party.
But then I heard Matt Canavan.
Matt Canavan is a Queensland senator and a minister in the Turnbull government. He lives in Queensland. I know this because he made the point early in the interview by announcing that he could see the Great Barrier Reef from his house… Possibly sea levels are rising faster than thought.
Anyway, he was particularly upset with the ABC because of their reporting all this “false news” on Adani. Not a beat-up, but “false”. He then went on without telling us anything that was actually false. Things were just of no interest or consequence.
Ok, they are being investigated for various things which may be against the law, but that’s in India and nothing’s been proven yet. Besides, Australian companies get investigated all the time. That’s no reason not to give them a billion dollars. Or rather lend them a billion dollars interest free. Ok, they do have a very complex structure with lots and lots of separate Adani companies based in Singapore and the Cayman Islands and it’s not clear exactly which Adani company will get the loan but it’ll certainly be the same one who owes the money if it goes broke and not one of the other ones.
See the problem was that the ABC is ignoring all the jobs that Adani will create. And all the tax it’ll pay, even if it hasn’t actually paid much tax in India. Here in Australia, it’ll be different. Why, the head office of Adani Australia will be based in Townsville. Think of all the jobs that’ll create! A head office in Townsville. That should solve the GDP problem!
Senator Canavan felt that it was a problem that ABC was reducing services in Queensland and it was this lack of Queensland ABC people that failed to understand that for a mere billion dollars they could solve the unemployment problem because Adani had – at one point estimated that the mine would create 10,000 jobs, even if they did revise it down to 1400. That’s less than a million dollars a job! Not much less, mind you, but isn’t it worth the $700,000 plus for each job?
However, towards the end of the interview Senator Canavan started making less sense. He begin to insist that the mine would actually improve the Queensland environment and, more than that, it would improve the world environment. So could the ABC stop all this “false news” and start reporting the truth which is that Queensland is a great place, with great people and great weather and there’s nothing to worry about.
At various times I’ve predicted that the Adani mine won’t go ahead, not for environmental reasons, but because the economics don’t stack up. Throw in announcements from the Indian government that they plan to phase out the importation of coal in the next couple of years and there’s even less of a market for Adani than currently. Unless our own goverments back it, then it’s unlikely to get finance from any bank concerned about getting its money back. Unfortunately this seems to be ignored when discussing the mine.
Whatever, Senator Canavan was a classic example of the maxim that it’s better to say nothing and have people suspect you’re lacking in intelligence than to speak and confirm it for everyone.