Adani self-financing coal mine is far from the end of the story

Photo from Reuters: Gautam Adani, who heads the Adai Group of comapnies
Contributed from Queensland

Australia does not want Adani to operate a coal mine in Australia and the Australian and Queensland governments have an obligation to respect this. The longer they continue to deny this, the lower the standing these governments will have among Australians.

It looks like they are so mesmerised by Adani’s checkbook, and too bound up with protecting a dirty industry, that they cannot see past this.

Adani is an old hand, experienced in the use of bribery to obtain sweet deals. There have been allegations and more, that this card has been used in Australia. So far, what has come out is the used of gifts to politicians and junkets to India for those whose favours have been sought. If there have been more substantial brown bags under the table type corruption, we don’t know, except that it has happened in other places. It it’s happened here too, it will come out in time.

Whatever the details, Adani has such a bad name in Australia now, that he has not even been able to get finance from the banks, which fear, that being linked to this tycoon is bad for business.

Finally, the company claims it has turned to rely on  self-financing and says it will soon begin construction, on a scaled down version of its original plan.

Now it seems like the same governments are falling in backward to accommodate the project. It’s not good enough. The whole operation must be stopped. Campaigners against Adani agree, and they are picking up their activity.

The Australian Conservation Foundation is launching a legal challenge over the allocation of water to the mine and the waiver of full environmental assessment, given by Environment Minister Melissa Price.

Video from The Australian Conservation Foundation

This will hold things up for a while. But this is only a small part of the campaign at this point. The greatest effort will continue to be to maintain a presence on the ground and to keep on building public opinion.

Being Labor, the Queensland government is a significant problem for the party nationally. Many, and this includes the party’s own base, want it and its leader Bill Shorten to come out clearly and sate a position that supports the public sentiment to stop Adani.

What the Queensland government is doing is a strategic dilemma for a party and leader moving towards an election campaign, and wishing to avoid a public stoush with its Queensland colleagues. Holding back and sitting on the fence is ultimately futile. The matter will not go away, and it will continue to sap the credibility of Labor.

Even if only for its own sake, Labor needs to act. The Adani issue is a major test on whether the party is going to look like being too tied to the big end of town, in the manner of the Coalition.

Failure to make a stand on Adani may not cost the election, but it could mean going into government with a question mark hanging overhead.  Perhaps even a government coming into office not because it has inspired people towards a better future, but because enough just want to get rid of the other lot. This is not building on a firm foundation

In an environment where short life spans of governments and leaders is becoming the norm, this is not a good way to kick off, and risks the possibility of an alternative even worse than the present Coalition. This is worth thinking about.

The Adani coal mine ultimately requires federal approval to go ahead. The odds are that this decision will fall to Bill Shorten and his government.

 

5 Comments on "Adani self-financing coal mine is far from the end of the story"

  1. Lesley Garrett-Jones | December 5, 2018 at 11:21 am | Reply

    Labor, federal and state. Get off the fence. Listen to the people, including the children- we don’t want any new coal mines in Australia – step up and use your brains trust to nut out an alternative which can provide far more jobs and far less damage to the climate and environment!!

  2. I hope that Mr. Adani burns all of his cash invited in this mine.

  3. Ardni is a disgrace how bad must u be when our crooked banks won’t touch u he is an environmental terrorists and must be stopped

  4. The ALP is trying to have its cake and eat it too. They are deliberately and calculatedly being wishy-washy and vague. Bill Shorton should know such tactics will not do in today’s political climate. We can NOT TRUST any such gutless stance. A fist full od short term jobs is a mighty small bribe being paid for ALP support. What is at stake is the future of our Great barrier Reef in the shorter term and beyond that, the furure of mankind as we now know it. Global warming will bring catastrophic changes we already know our stupidly dumb politicians will never be able to handle. Just look at the LNP rabble, and imagine either major party when climatic pressure driven problems get really tough in the medium term future.
    The QLD government MUST back off its support for Adani, it must refuse to have anything to do with any more coal mining. It must NOT allow the mine to go ahead.
    We do not want another ALP sell-out like was done in 1949. A ALP sell-out on the Adani mine will be far more hurtful and far more devastating than was the ALP sell-out of the miners in 1949 when the army was used against striking miners. Today the Adani issue is the global weather changes matter, not just a local Australian national sell-out.
    Come on Bill Shorton, have tyhe guts to do what is needed. Make a clear cut stand to STOP ADANI.

  5. Why on Earth are the people having to protect themselves from politicians! This is getting beyond rediculous! Bill Shorten listen up! I will not vote for you if you don’t show us that you will not let this mine go ahead. Don’t break this promise when you make it.

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