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The truth about the Adani bonanza

We have all heard the oft-quoted figure of 10,000 jobs being created by the proposed Adani venture in Queensland.

When the Indian mining giant’s expert witness, Dr Jerome Fahrer, admitted in court that the mine would create an average of 1464 full-time-equivalent jobs a year, Adani stood by the 10,000 jobs claim saying its figures included contributions from the mine, the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, and the 310 kilometre rail line connecting the two.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche previously said the rail line alone could provide 2400 new jobs, which if correct (unlikely considering the source), would require the port to create roughly 6000 new roles for the 10,000 jobs figure to stack up.

A quick look at the government’s report Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project: Economic Impact Study paints a very different picture, stating that the construction of the port is capital intensive.

“The Project is anticipated to generate employment opportunities equivalent to between 82 and 164 FTE positions, comprising 39 to 78 direct FTEs and 43 to 86 indirect FTEs, during the less than one year construction phase.

After the construction phase, operational employment benefits would manifest for approximately five years in the order of one FTE.

These might not be in the form of new ‘jobs’ per se but rather a continued stream of employment opportunity for heavy and civil construction workers and their supply chains that rely on project-based work.

The indirect or flow-on economic impacts of the Project in terms of additional economic activity stimulated for supply chain firms is anticipated to be modest, as reflected in the value of indirect output impacts (i.e. between $12.60 million and $25.19 million compared to between $50.00 million and $100.00 million in direct impacts).”

Dr Fahrer’s report in court also estimated that over 30 years Australia would make $7.845 billion in taxes and royalties rather than the $22 billion Adani quoted.

Adani’s Abbot Point Terminal in Queensland – with a turnover of $268 million – paid no tax in 2013-14.

Adani Mining in Australia is owned by an Adani company in Singapore, which is in turn owned by an Adani company in Mauritius, so we are unlikely to see much from them either.

Referring again to the economic impact study:

“The proposed [port] project will increase the coal throughput capacity of the Port of Abbot Point by approximately 70Mtpa. Based on a short to medium term thermal coal price in the order of USD70/t and an exchange rate of between 0.70USD and 0.80USD, an Australian dollar denominated coal price of between approximately $88/t and $100/t can be estimated.

The Project could facilitate additional throughput of 70 Mtpa of largely thermal coal which would have a value in the order of $6.1 billion to $7.0 billion.”

The price today for thermal coal is USD43.1/t which on today’s exchange rate is about AUD60/t, substantially lower than the estimates used in the report dated July 2015.

The export throughput of the Port of Abbot Point between 2013 and 2014 was 22.9 million tonnes (Mt) of coal. The proposed expansion will increase capacity from 50 to 120 Mt ie they will have the capability of increasing exports by over 500%.

One of the key risks to the Great Barrier Reef is rising sea temperatures which will most certainly be exacerbated if this huge increase in consumption of coal goes ahead.

Tourism in the Reef catchment made a value-added economic contribution in 2012 of almost $5.2 billion and about 64,000 FTEs were generated by the tourism sector. Over 90% of the direct economic activity in the region comes from tourism.

Why on earth are we risking the future of the Reef (and the planet), and all the jobs and revenue it creates, for a company of dubious reputation who cannot find financial backers, who have been shown to have a poor environmental and work safety record, who engage in aggressive tax avoidance, and who have grossly exaggerated any future economic benefits whilst completely ignoring climate change?

See Hunt.


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  1. Möbius Ecko

    “Why on earth are we…”

    One word, “donation”.

    This is all about propping up the Liberal and National parties and the country along with its people can get stuffed.

  2. Bacchus

    Some interesting stats on jobs:

    Source: Minerals Council of Australia:
    In 2014, the Australian coal mining industry employed 54,900 people full time in direct employment and more than 145,000 people in related employment.

    Source ABS & Tourism Research Australia:
    In 2014, tourism employed 534,000 people in direct employment and 391,000 in related employment.

    It’s pretty obvious where employment efforts should be directed…

  3. Greg

    LMAO this government is SO corrupt it has this on a official document , last edited on 4th Nov 2015 but not meant to be seen until next year …. Authority within an Act (other than an annual Appropriation Act) to spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for particular purposes. The Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, for example, contains several special appropriations to make social security payments. Special appropriations support around 80 per cent of all government expenditure each year. ???? wtf are they smoking

  4. babyjewels10

    How much tax will Adani pay? I’ve yet to hear one Minister from this government explain what the benefits are of the Carmichael Mine. Clearly, there are none.

  5. Greg

    so is the money for that coming from the Asset Recycling Fund for infrastructure , if so that is money that has been redirected from cuts to social security , medicare other area’s that were meant to be put back into the Consolidated Revenue Fund

  6. townsvilleblog

    As well as the 1,500 jobs Adani may create they will also push the global temperature well beyond 2% if all is burnt.

  7. Kaye Lee

    “This is a private company, and the private company Adani must get the finance independently if it is to go ahead,” the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said. “There will be no taxpayers’ money going towards this project.”

    Australia’s freshly minted Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has signalled the government’s intention to use taxpayer funds to help the coal mining industry establish new projects.

    In an interview with Fairfax Media publication the Australian Financial Review, Mr Frydenberg, who is also the Minister for Northern Australia, said a $5 billion infrastructure fund announced in the May budget could contribute to infrastructure for mining projects in the Galilee Basin.

    Asked if the fund might be used for rail projects for Galilee coal, he said: “Yes, if there is a good case and state governments are willing to step up, then you would think that rail is one of the areas where it will go.

  8. Sir ScotchMistery

    I hate it when people drop their “h’s” when trying to make a point.

    C Hunt

  9. keerti

    I am wondering if the problem here is one of perspective…Is it all about adani? What do we see if we stand a little back from Adani and look at it from a perspective of what “our ship of fools” has been doing: a trade deal (TTP) which benefits really big business and legally limits the democratic ability of the general polulation to direct what happens, tax hiding for multinationals (google, amazon and co), tax decrease for business, bombing the hell out of countries like Iraq on the basis of lies (minimum civilian population murdered 200,000 in a few days plus ongoing), bleating about it when people radicalised as a result of destruction of their countries manage to inefficiently murder a 100 or so in return, a world which is rapidly running out of resources and time to limit environmental destruction (and has no real political will to do so- regardless of the latest talkfest!), throw into the mix the so far very accurate projections of the Club Of Rome which include a major correction to the planet’s ability to support a human population without major downsizing. Take all of these into account and then in Australia’s case continueing agitation to eliminate or decrease social security benefits. The logical outcome of the kind of thinking coming out of the scum and their bible (the australian) is throw anyone who is not contributing the unemployed, pensioners, single parents, out in the streets. Looking at all of that is it possible that there is something far more sisnister and orchestrated going on?

  10. jim

    Kick this mob out! Now! seems the Liberals can’t help themselves again giving Billions to the non tax paying mining companies whilst we have a health system in a grave way and crimes and suicide rates skyrocketing yep, this folks is the Liberal party at work using your dollars to please their donors. just bloody sickening.

  11. Jexpat

    It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the only way to stop the coal criminals that infest the LNP and the Labor party will be through international sanctions.

  12. Miriam English

    Great post again Kaye, as usual.

    Jim, crimes, especially violent crimes, are not increasing. They are decreasing and have been for as long as we’ve been keeping records. I haven’t recently read statistics on suicide, but I doubt there is a long-term rise in that either. Australia does have the dubious distinction of being, I believe, the world leader in suicide among young males, but on the whole I think suicide may be trending down. Beware of getting any realistic assessment of existential threats from the mainstream media. They work hard to scare the living daylights outa people and convince them everything is going to hell.

    Back to what you were writing, Kaye, I can almost understand the thinking in the LNP. The mining billionaires contribute lavishly to their party and probably to their personal lifestyles as well — in short, bribery. But I have to wonder what the Queensland Labor government is thinking. Surely someone there has done their homework and added up the numbers. On the one hand we have Adani, a corrupt company that lies at every turn and has a terrible record of environmental vandalism and tax avoidance. On the other hand we have the Reef tourism trade which delivers big money right now.

    Surely they are also conscious of how the previous QLD LNP government got severely rapped over the knuckles and booted out of office when they tried to push through corrupt mining (and limit people’s ability to protest). What the hell is Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government thinking? Surely ordinary stupidity isn’t the reason? Surely. There must be another reason. Could they be just as corrupt as the LNP?

    If we could get the QLD Labor government to walk away from the whole Adani deal (mine, railway, port) then the federal LNP government could scream til they’re blue in the face, but couldn’t do anything about it.

    Personally, I think we need to start taking our governments to court over dereliction of duty. Losing a few high profile cases costing many hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and prison terms for those involved might just make them think twice about corrupt practices. (Fines are not enough because they just get us, the taxpayers to pay for them — we need actual prison time for them to be wary of breaking our trust.)

  13. Kaye Lee


    Six Italian scientists were charged with manslaughter and jailed in 2012 for failing to predict an earthquake.

    I thought that one was a bit rough and I’m glad they’ve been cleared.

    We need to do as the Dutch have done

    A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years.

  14. Anti

    I love to see men make a pick up an ‘R’ of themselves.

  15. diannaart

    Agree Miriam & Kay Lee

    The Italians did not get it right (in a really scary way BTW), however the Dutch are on the right track.

    Failure by government to act in the best long term interests of their people and the environment needs to be up on the list of crimes such as war crime – as people have noted previously – however, this requirement needs to be supported more and escalated loudly.

    We, the people, pay a great deal in taxes just for our government to use such largesse to line the pockets of the already wealthy and powerful at continued expense of the best interests of the majority.

    I was bitterly disappointed about this latest decision by Hunt – clearly profit is not enough, else the tourist $ would be given priority over Adani – big mining must be up there with Murdoch et al when it comes to government corruption.

  16. Do Yourself a favour

    if you want to do anything about all this.. youre all going to have to get off your arses, pick up your pitchforks and torches, and march up to parliament house, and drag the bastards out and lynch them..

    anything else is just pissing into the wind ffs.

    just tell me when youre all ready, ill be there. otherwise, keep on crying all you want…

  17. Sir ScotchMistery

    @ DYAF Unfortunately, that about covers it.

    I’m going to be designing loud, in your face t-shirts which anyone can buy and wear to:

    Make a statement
    Start a conversation
    Get up people’s noses

    This Redbubble T-Shirt for example.

  18. Pingback: En Passant » Chevron and Adani – tax ‘planners’ in the news today

  19. JohnB

    @ Kaye Lee December 23, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Getup have created the Grata Fund.

    From their email to founding subscribers:
    “..Last week, I wrote to you about Australia’s first crowd-funded public interest litigation body — the Grata Fund….
    …Well, great news. We hit our target, and with the support of 1728 other generous donors, we’ve secured enough funding for it to launch. Now, thanks to you, the Grata Fund is a reality!

    Right now, the Grata Fund is preparing for 2016 – a year in which legal advocates, not-for-profit leaders, campaigners, strategic litigators and academics will come together to take on the big fights, and support the cases that would otherwise go unheard. ..”

    “Can you chip in to be a founding funder of Australia’s first community backed, public interest fighting fund? “

    Perhaps if there was a national call for crowdfunded support Getup could be persuaded to run a case against the Australian govt. along similar lines to the Dutch case.

  20. JohnB

    An article from CarbonBrief 21 Dec 2015 on the feasibility/practicality of climate change litigation:
    “Guest post: Climate change before the court”
    “…We take a look at how litigation – the process of resolving disputes in a court of law – could have an important role to play…”

  21. Pingback: Chevron and Adani – tax ‘planners’ in the news today – WRITTEN BY JOHN PASSANT | winstonclose

  22. miriamenglish

    I think probably a lot of people may have responded to GetUp recently with the suggestion that we be able to sue our government when they treat us with contempt and lies. I was one of those who suggested it, and I’m sure there were many others. It is an idea that has come of age, I think. I was also lucky enough to be one of the many founding contributors to the fund. We are very privileged to be able to take part in such direct processes to fix our country today.

    It is a sad situation when we look at our politicians and see the enemy. This needs to change.

  23. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Euclid Robot Trucks serviced by robots at the mine face. We need a general strike. Cleverly they have put the parliament miles from anywhere.

  24. miriamenglish

    Lawrence S. Roberts, I’m not sure what you mean by your comment. Are you saying robots are the problem? And that we should strike in protest? Would you prefer people’s heath harmed by working at mines? Note that it is easier to force closure of a completely automated mine because there are few jobs depending upon it. Closing a dangerous mine where thousands of people are employed is next to impossible.

    In the long run expect most of the workforce to become automated. This is coming whether we like it or not. We need to turn it to our advantage, not try to hold back an irresistible force. We need to ensure a universal income so that we can live with dignity in such a world and actually benefit from it. It holds the potential to free everybody, allowing them to work on whatever they wish (instead of what they have to), and bring us very close to a utopia. That would be much better than having to scratch for an existence effectively bound in slavery for much of our lives doing boring, repetitive work for people who sometimes might be one step removed from evil.

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Congrats Miriam English @ 23 December 2015 @ 3.04pm,

    the Federal LNP Government with Greg Hunt, as Sinister for Environment, are environmental vandals for sure. But also you are right to question what Annastacia Palaszczuk is thinking?

    This Abbott Point extension proposal is disastrous for the Great Barrier Reef. And as Kaye Lee rightly points out, for what? There are miniscule, if any, benefits for Australians, such as:

    Negligible increased employment opportunities mainly for fit, strong, young men. I don’t see the great diversification of job opportunities for all demographics being promoted.

    Negligible taxes going on Adani’s past poor tax paying form and corporate hierarchy where revenue and profits can vanish between corporate affiliates overseas.

    I also applaud and support Miriam’s call for a universal income. If we can’t be employed in meaningful work that meets our skills, expertise, qualifications and experience, then we should be able to fund our own micro-businesses with accessible government grants or loans to derive our own dignified incomes. Great for local industry and people’s general well-being.

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I just gave my details to GetUp to help as a volunteer legal advocate for their People-Powered Legal Action.

    GetUp is also still looking for donors to The Grata Fund, Australia’s first public interest fighting fund. A Fantastic grassroots initiative.

    Get involved and feel good about being part of the reason for a reversal to the crimes being done by the Government and public officials regardless of the consequences to our quality of life and the protection of the environment.


    kaye lee has misread fahrers report. its 1464 jobs over the
    whole course of the life span of the mine not.per year.

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