Adani Group wants to develop the Carmichael coal deposits in Queensland state, but the plan has been hampered by regulatory delays and difficulty in securing financing aiming fierce environmental resistance.
A surprise election victory for Australia’s pro-coal ruling coalition may bode well for the Adani Group’s long-delayed mega coal mine project, with the Group’s country head saying the defeat of Labor Party in Queensland, where the project is based, is a clear message to get the project done. The opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten who took a firm stand against coal and mining has announced he is resigning after accepting defeat as his party fared poorly in Queensland, especially in mining communities in the north of the state.
Adani Australia Chief Executive Officer Lucas Dow in a video message on the company’s Twitter page said Queenslanders have sent a strong message and it is now time for the Queensland government to hear that message. “Queenslanders are proud of their coal mining industry. They know it is an economic powerhouse that creates jobs and sustains their regions and also provides billions of dollars each year for the benefit of the State,” he said.
Dow also added that Queenslanders do not understand the Queensland Labor government’s continued efforts to “tarnish and delay the work of Adani Mining, which has been held to the highest level of scrutiny over the past eight years of planning and demonstrated its capability to operate as one of Australia’s leading mining companies”.
Adani Group wants to develop the Carmichael coal deposits in Queensland state, but the plan has been hampered by regulatory delays and difficulty in securing financing aiming fierce environmental resistance. First proposed in 2010, the project, if fully developed, has the potential to more than double the country’s coal exports.
The people of the state “despair at the Queensland Labor Government’s continued efforts to delay and undermine the delivery of the Carmichael Project, despite waving through approvals on other projects without the same level of scrutiny,” he said. “As evidenced by this weekend’s election results, Queenslanders have no tolerance for political actions that are unjust and put people’s livelihoods at risk.”
Australians re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison-led conservative coalition government in the federal polls. The coalition benefited from a stronger-than-expected showing in Queensland where Adani Group is developing large Carmichael coal mine. “It’s time for the Queensland Labor government to stop shifting the goal posts and let us get on with delivering these jobs for regional Queenslanders,” he said. “It is time to get the Carmichael Project done.”
Last month, Adani took a step closer to the construction of the coal mine after winning federal government approval for its groundwater management plan. “When there is an opportunity like the Carmichael Project ready to deliver thousands of jobs today in a manner that is both commercially and environmentally responsible, people cannot fathom why the Queensland Labor government refuses to get behind the Carmichael Project,” Dow said.
The Minerals Council of Australia’s Chief Executive Tania Constable in a statement said, “There is now a clear mandate for resources projects that have lawful approvals to proceed, such as the Adani coal mine.” Australia’s resources sector generates more export revenue than all industries combined, pays the highest average earnings and directly employs more than 2,40,000 highly skilled workers across communities, Constable said.
She added that the mining industry generates USD 12 billion in royalties for state governments and paid USD 18.6 billion in company tax in 2017-18 — funding the teachers, nurses, police and infrastructure projects on which all Australians rely. “This means a stronger minerals industry is good for Australia,” the statement said.