Adani still fights on to build biggest Australian coal mine ever
After years of court battles and setbacks, the progress of Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Queensland Galilee Basin is still being bogged down by legal challenges from indigenous groups. Yet again, a local indigenous organisation has launched a court action to thwart the Adani $16.5 billion Carmichael mine; saying they misled people about the number of mining jobs the mine could generate.
Adani has been waiting patiently for the Queensland government to stamp its approval of environmental conditions that will make sure the mine does not damage any native fauna or indigenous surroundings. . This also covers the huge 350km rail link and multi-billion dollar Abbot Point port project, where coal from the proposed Galilee Basin mine is to be shipped to Adani’s power stations in India.
Although Adani has been signing agreements with some indigenous groups, indigenous elder Adrian Burragubba is taking them to court, saying he represents the majority of the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples. Tribal elders were opposed to the gigantic coal mining project and made statements to the fact that Adani were fluffing up the economic benefits that would enfold as the mine develops.
They have claimed the “distorted” jobs figures amounted to fraud, (although how that can be seen as grounds for a thorough legal challenge remains to be seen). Adani made claims that the mine, if it goes ahead, would create up to 10,000 jobs, however lawyers for Mr Burragubba said the Native Title Tribunal failed to test the validity of the statements.
Thousands of new Queensland Adani coal mining jobs
The federal court in Brisbane is hearing a judicial review to the Native Title Tribunal decision which approved the Carmichael mine in 2015. The federal court is engaged in legal argument about whether Mr Burragubba was able to make a challenge to the original decision by the tribunal.
Seen as a positive omen, the Australian federal and Queensland governments are super-keen for the Adani Carmichael mine to go ahead. It would be a feather in the cap for any government who were seen to be doing everything in their powers to take some sort of positive action over the losses of over 20,000 mining jobs which have dissipated over the past two years.
The approval of the Carmichael mine would also help boost local jobs in regional Queensland centres such as Townsville; many of which have been hit hard by the failure of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel which was recently placed in voluntary administration.
Mr Burragubba and his team have raised doubts by Adani’s claim that 4000 jobs being created during the operational phase of the mine and a $4 billion boost into the local economy, saying in fact the number of jobs created was closer to 400. (we’d love to see the proof of that!)
Adani has also been accused of not submitting all the relevant documents to the original Native Title Tribunal application.
Mr Burragubba said he started the legal action because the Native Title Tribunal favoured mining projects over indigenous people’s rights.
“We were denied natural justice and due process in the tribunal. My submissions were ignored and proper inquiry into our refusal to consent and our concerns for the protection of our traditional lands and heritage did not take place.”
If Adani wins the last court case and is granted final approvals for the Carmichael mine project, including the mining lease, it still has to find more than $10 billion to fund the build. Over the past 3 years Adani has awarded contracts to international companies like Komatsu, to supply 50 gigantic electric haul trucks. Korean engineering and project management firm were awarded the contract to build the rail link and Downer EDI were given the opportunity to build and operate the mine.