Showing posts with label coal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coal. Show all posts

Monday, 8 October 2018

Whitehaven Coal’s Vickery mine extension community consultation has farmers up in arms

Whitehaven Coal Vickery Forest coal mining operation, 2018


Maules Creek section of coal mining operation, 2018

Whitehaven Coal Limited is seeking planning permission to extend its existing mining infrastructure footprint approx. 22kms north of Gunnedah in north-west NSW, by adding a coal processing hub with an on site coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP), train load-out facility and rail spur line to service its open cut mines at Tarrawonga, Rocglen and Werris Creek.

Quite naturally local rural communities are concerned…….

The Northern Daily Leader, 5 October 2018:

The Greens have condemned NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts and called his decision to ignore the plea of drought-stricken farmers “the height of arrogance”.

The spraying follows comments Mr Roberts made to The Leader yesterday, where he referred to the 4000-page Vickery coal mine extension report as a “relatively short document”, as he knocked back the request of farmers for more time to read the submission.

Farmers say they are struggling to find time to read and understand the massive document, let alone write a response to it, when they are hand feeding cattle.
Greens resource spokesman Jeremy Buckingham wrote to Mr Roberts in September, seeking to extend the public consultation time from 42 days to 90 days, however is yet to receive a response.

“Minister Anthony Roberts has displayed the height of arrogance in ignoring local farmers and communities and failing to give them a fair chance of responding to a 4000-page document on Vickery coal mine,” Mr Buckingham said.

“Minister Roberts has failed to acknowledge that many local folks are flat out keeping their livestock and farms alive in drought conditions.

“Local farmers and community members have asked for an reasonable extension of time to read thousands of pages of documents and make a considered response, but the Minister won’t listen.

“What does the NSW Government have to hide on this Vickery coal mine proposal?”...

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Gloucester community's landmark climate change case began in NSW Land & Environment Court, August 2018




CASE SUMMARY

Gloucester Resources Ltd and Stratford Pty Ltd
v Groundswell Gloucester and Dept of Planning & Environment 


The Client: Groundswell Gloucester, a residents’ community group concerned with the environmental, social and economic future of the Stroud Gloucester Valley near Barrington Tops in the upper Hunter.

The Case: Represented by EDO NSW, Groundswell Gloucester was joined to proceedings that will determine the fate of the Rocky Hill Coal project, a greenfield open-cut coal mine less than 5km from Gloucester township.

Representation: Matt Floro, solicitor for EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for Groundswell Gloucester and our Principal Solicitor, Elaine Johnson, is the solicitor on record. We are grateful to barrister Robert White for his assistance in this matter.

Experts: Emeritus Professor Will Steffen will for the first time give evidence in an Australian court that no new fossil fuel developments can be approved if we are to avoid overspending our carbon budget. Professor Steffen is a Climate Councillor on the Climate Council of Australia, Member of the ACT Government’s Climate Change Council, and was previously a Climate Commissioner on the Australian Government’s Climate Commission.

Energy analyst Tim Buckley will explain the financial mechanisms and market changes that are driving investments away from coal and creating a risk that Rocky Hill will become a stranded asset. Tim Buckley is Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

60 community objectors include farmers, doctors, Traditional Owners and young people. This is also the first time in an Australian court that young people will talk about the impact of climate change and the impact of the mine on their communities, and future generations.

Timeline:

2016 - Community celebrations after AGL withdraws its application to drill 330 coal seam gas extraction wells in the area.

December 2017 - celebrations continue when the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refuses consent to the Rocky Hill Coal Project proposed by Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL). The PAC found that the mine was not in the public interest because of its proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and direct contravention of the area’s zoning plans.

The PAC also refuses consent to a Modification of the consent for the nearby Stratford mine - operated by a related company of Yancoal Australia Limited - that proposed the receipt, processing and railing of coal from the Project.  The PAC found that the Modification would have no critical purpose or utility outside the Project.

Planning Minister grants both mining companies the right to appeal the refusal of consent to the Land and Environment Court.

February 2018 - Our client, Groundswell Gloucester, seeks to be joined to the proceedings.

April 2018 - following a full-day hearing, the Land and Environment Court orders that Groundswell Gloucester be joined to the proceedings brought by GRL.
In relation to the climate change ground, on joining Groundswell Gloucester, the Court noted that:
“GRL submits that the raising of the climate issue as proposed in a domestic Court if the Intervener were joined would not serve the purpose of improving this particular planning decision; and, instead, would be a “side show and a distraction”. I do not agree.”

Our client has been permitted by the Court to present expert evidence on climate change and the social impacts of this new mine. The Court will hear anthropological evidence about the social impact of mining on the community.

This is the first time an Australian court will hear expert evidence about the urgent need to stay within the global carbon budget in the context of a proposed new coal mine.

Key dates
13-14 August 2018
Opening submissions at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney
15 August 2018
Site visit (parties only) Gloucester
16-17 August 2018
Hearings in Gloucester (community objectors)
20-24 & 27-31 August 2018
Submissions and expert witnesses at the Land and Environment Court, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Background

This is the first hearing of its kind since the historic Paris Agreement in which a superior jurisdiction Australian court will hear expert testimony about climate change, the carbon budget and the impacts of the burning of fossil fuels.

For years EDO NSW has supported the Gloucester community, providing legal and scientific advice. This contributed to a recommendation from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in 2016 to the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to refuse GRL’s greenfield mine application, known as the Rocky Hill Coal Project (the Project) and the associated Stratford modification.

In December 2017, the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) refused consent to the Project and the modification, finding they were not in the public interest because of proximity to the town of Gloucester, significant visual impact and the area’s zoning under planning laws.

In deciding how the Project and modification would be assessed, the NSW Minister for Planning granted unusual merit appeal rights to GRL and Yancoal who are now joined together in aggressively challenging the refusal in the Land and Environment Court.

Both coal companies have recruited their own legal and scientific teams. However Groundswell Gloucester was not told about the merit appeal until February, two months after GRL filed the case.

EDO NSW case page: www.edonsw.org.au/groundswell 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Concerned citizens can donate to the Environmental Defence Fund here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Stopping coal expansions in NSW that are bigger than Adani's proposed Carmichael Mine complex


Thursday, 26 July 2018

Australia 2018: the Coal War continues


It should come as no surprise that in the Coal War being conducted by right-wing ideologues and climate change deniers consumers are predicted to be the losers under the Turnbull Government's National Energy Agreement (NEG) and, that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is offering the same illusory $550 per annum saving on electricity costs per household promised but not delived by his predecessor Tony Abbott. 

A COAG Energy Council Ministers meeting on August 2018 will reveal the final NEG design - a design which won't be published until after this meeting.

What is already broadly known about the NEG design appears to support allegations that the aim of this agreement is to cement the dominant position of fossil fuels in the national energy mix at the expense of renewable energy technologies.

REneweconomy, 20 July 2018:

As pressure mounts for Australia’s states and territories to finalise their position on the National Energy Guarantee, a new report has warned the federal government’s policy would fail to achieve its most basic and important function: to lower energy costs for consumers.

The report, commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, says the Coalition’s NEG would in fact do the opposite – raise electricity prices; as well as bringing investment in large-scale renewables to a halt, and do nothing to combat climate change.

Based on analysis conducted by energy and environment analysts RepuTex, the report models the impact of the NEG under the government’s 26 per cent emissions reduction target, compared to a more ambitious 45 percent target.


In both scenarios, as shown in Figure 17 above, electricity prices are forecast to fall through to 2020 as more than 6GW of renewable energy enters the NEM under large-scale renewable energy target (LRET).

“The increase in low cost solar and wind generation will see the electricity supply steadily become more competitive, with average prices less influenced by high priced gas, and subsequently falling toward $60 MWh in 2020,” the report says.

But under the NEG, new investment in renewables falls off a cliff after 2020, while the impact of the reliability guarantee drives an increase in gas generation, prolongs the phase-out of coal, and makes it harder for key new technologies, like battery storage and demand management to compete.

“The result is the continuation of a coal-dominated market with a fairly static picture for large-scale renewables investment, with gas providing flexibility to meet evening ramp ups,” the report says.

“As a result wholesale prices rise above $70 per MWh after the closure of Liddell, and $80 per MWh after the expected retirement of Yallourn in 2028.”

A more ambitious emissions reduction target, however, of 45 per cent, would provide a signal for investment in more solar and wind, driving prices down by around $20/MWh.

“The competitive pressure from higher solar and wind energy is modelled to push wholesale prices lower, eventually resulting in the closure of excess coal capacity” – around 9GW, in total, by 2030 RepuTex says.

Published on Jul 23, 2018

The crucial make or break meeting of State Energy Ministers is on 10 August. So if we want block Turnbull's dirty energy plan, we need to move right now.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Get Up!: Adani is paying for government staff to 'independently' assess Adani's mine.


Rio Tinto's RTM Wakmatha bulk carrier

Get Up!
is currently sending out an interesting email pointing out the close relationship between the Adani Group and government.


Given past behaviour of the Adani Group it is possible that it might also be considering looking to a small business focused, suspected 'greenwashing' front called the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, for assistance in the future.

Given the Turnbull Government's announcement of a $444 million grant gifted to the coal, ore, gas and petroleum export industries as well as bulk carrier fleets operating on the Australian east coast, by way of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

A foundation which classes Rio Tinto's RTFM Wakmatha (a Post Panamax bulk carrier on the Weipa to Gladstone run) as the foundation's research vessel in its so-called mission to save the reef.
https://www.marinetraffic.com
On Monday night 28 May 2018 the 'research' vessel was on the return trip north (destination Gove NT) sailing between the coast and Lizard Island. 

Two oil tankers were also travelling north behind it. 


Get Up! email, 28 May 2018:

Adani is paying for government staff to 'independently' assess Adani's mine.

The corporation has struck a mind-boggling deal that will see Adani pay up to $1.5 million in salaries, housing and vehicle costs for council employees who will directly assess parts of their coal project.1

Adani now has its tendrils deep in every level of our democracy. From local councils, to state governments, right through to our Federal politicians. Adani has infiltrated our democracy in a way that makes objective decision making virtually impossible.

Our Reef is on the brink, and so is our planet. If we're to stop this monstrous coal mine, we have to fight back against the huge influence dirty polluters have over our democracy.

Can you sign our open letter to Australian politicians demanding they get big polluters out of government?

This is only the latest sordid chapter in this country's big book of polluting politics.

From the beginning, there has been a revolving door of operators moving freely between Adani and political offices. Last Queensland election, an Adani lobbyist 'volunteered' to run Labor's election campaign.2

Resources Minister Matt Canavan stacked the board deciding whether or not to give $1 billion to Adani with his pro-coal friends.3 And when that didn't work, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo went out and changed the rules of government funding body EFIC (the Export Finance Insurance Corporation) to allow hundreds of millions in public money to fund projects exactly like Adani's coal mine.4

The fossil fuel industry and their vested interests are rotting our democracy from tip to root. If we are to get the real, urgent change we need, we need to clean them out on every level.

Sign our open letter demanding we get big polluters out of our politics.

It's not just Adani, either.
The Turnbull Government has just announced a plan to 'save the Reef'. Except instead of doing anything about climate change, this plan involves granting $444 million to an obscure group with links to climate-deniers. Their plan? Let "corporate interest help decide the science strategy and funding priorities."5


Yep. Nearly half a billion dollars for climate-deniers to work with big business to solve the problem. What could go wrong?

At the same time, the Government's Energy Security Board put out a call for energy companies to help implement Turnbull's new energy plan. Big polluters could be writing the rules they'll have to follow. Again, what could possibly go wrong?6

It's clear that our politicians, and especially this Turnbull Government, have shown us they are both incapable and unwilling to act on climate while they are dominated by climate deniers, the fossil fuel lobby and big coal donors.

Help get fossil fuels out of our democracy. Sign our open letter now.

It's time for a clean out.

Sam R and Jairaj, for the GetUp team.

References
[1] Adani to pay for Isaac council staff working on Carmichael mine activities, ABC Online, 28 May 2018
[2] Adani lobbyist Cameron ­Milner in Palaszczuk campaign, The Australian, 30 August 2017
[3] Conflicts of interest concerns over $900m Adani loan spark Senate estimates questions, ABC Online, 2 June 2017
[4] Coalition to allow government-backed loans to coalmines as banks hesitant, The Guardian, 11 September 2017
[5] Corporate figures to help decide Great Barrier Reef priorities under $444m grant, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 2018
[6] Energy Security Board asks companies for staff to deliver National Energy Guarantee, Australian Financial Review, 21 May 2018


GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! This email was sent to judith.melville@gmail.com. To unsubscribe this email address from GetUp, please click here.
Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners: "We're on the frontline defending our lands against Adani" and we ask your help


From: Adrian Burragubba - via CommunityRun <info@getup.org.au>
Date: Thu, May 24, 2018 at 5:46 PM
Subject: We're on the frontline defending our lands against Adani
To: [redacted]


This is a message from the leaders of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners. They are the Traditional Owners of the land where mining giant Adani want to build the Carmichael coal mine. Your details haven't been shared with anyone.

Dear [redacted],

We are leaders of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners. We're the people on the frontline defending our ancestral lands in the fight against Adani's destructive coal mine.

Our people have said no four times to a miserly land deal offered by Adani in exchange for the destruction of our homelands. We have been opposing Adani and holding them off since 2012.

Our resistance has nothing to do with dollars. No amount of money or promises from a deceitful corporation can stop us standing strong in defence of Wangan and Jagalingou lands and waters and sacred sites.

But Adani are ruthless. They have used the dirtiest tactics to undermine our right to say no, and manufacture a phony "Indigenous Land Use Agreement".

Right now we're fighting against Adani's shoddy tactics and their sham "agreement" in court. The judge could hand down a decision any day now. But it won't end there.

Can you sign our petition to stand with us against Adani?

We are willing to fight Adani all the way to the High Court to protect our environment and sacred sites. We are working for a positive future for our people on our country. We won't stand by and watch its destruction for coal.

Adani are relentlessly pressuring the Queensland government to clear our Native Title rights out of the way — and as the clock ticks and Adani gets more desperate, it will only intensify.

So we need to show Adani and our Governments that they can't fake or force our consent.

We have never given our consent to Adani to destroy our country, and we never will. Our land is our living law; we are connected to it through our ancestors and our culture. Without it we will cease to exist as a people.

Our people have been leading a courageous fight against a cashed-up mining giant with politicians in its pockets, and top end of town lawyers to argue away its collusion, bad faith and dishonesty.

We're calling time on this. It's time for Adani to walk away.

Sign our petition to tell Adani No means No.

Adani can't keep bullying us, or pretending they have our consent. Consent is written in our hearts and minds, and the truth is we have said no. Time and again.

And we shouldn't have to keep saying it. Adani haven't been able to put money on the table for this project or even say when they'll start digging. They've given nothing to our people, or to the people of Queensland and Australia, except a bunch of false promises. The smart money and honest commentators know Adani's Carmichael mine is going nowhere.

But still our rights are at extreme risk. The Queensland Government could yield to this corrupt polluting corporation and "legally" rip up our Native Title, just so they can say they have their final "approval".

We continue to hold the line and have many tens of thousands of supporters in Australia and around the world, but we need more. We need to build a more powerful movement, standing in solidarity with us, to take on Adani's wealth, political influence and dirty tricks.

Sign our petition to support our fight against Adani.

We are in the fight of our lives. Adani have shown a relentless determination to use unjust legal maneouvres to trample our rights. But this fight is bigger than Adani. It's about the rights that all Aboriginal people have to say no to dirty extractive industries that profit from our traditional homelands. It's about our right under international law to be free from discrimination, and to choose our own economic future.

We have a vision for our people that's sustainable. We want economic independence, and to make a future on our country that is respectful of the land and uplifting for our people. We want to invest in solar energy and other new clean enterprises. We don't want scraps from a corrupt corporation looking to profit from the permanent destruction of our culture, or meagre handouts and low paid dirty jobs that require us to give up our human rights.

When we say No to Adani, we mean No. We hope you'll stand with us.

Support our fight: http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/our-fight/

Adrian Burragubba, cultural leader and senior spokesperson
with Murrawah Johnson, Youth spokesperson
and Linda Bobongie, W&J Council Chairperson

for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council


Adrian Burragubba

CommunityRun is a new online organisation that lets anyone start, run and win their own campaigns. It receives no political party or government funding and is not affiliated with any political party. To unsubscribe from CommunityRun updates, please visit here or visit http://www.getup.org.au/unsubscribe?cr=true. To unsubscribe from individual CommunityRun campaigns, please visit www.communityrun.org.
Our team acknowledges that we meet and work on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia and the GetUp community.
Authorised by Paul Oosting, Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Lock The Gate back in court asking questions about "secretive deals" between NSW Coalition Government and Shenhua mining group


NSW Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO):


Our client Lock the Gate is seeking access to information held by the NSW Government about secretive deals relating to the “buy-back” of the coal exploration licence for Shenhua Watermark Coal Pty Limited’s (Shenhua) controversial Shenhua Watermark Coal Mine in the Liverpool Plains in north central NSW, one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions.

Lock the Gate argues that the public has a right to know about deals made behind closed doors in relation to the exploration and development of the proposed Watermark coal mine. Lock the Gate argues that accountability and transparency in this case are essential given the significant predicted impacts of the Watermark mine on the Liverpool Plains, the nation’s agricultural industry, local communities and the environment.

On behalf of Lock the Gate, we are asking the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to decide that the release of this information is in the public interest.


Farmland on the Liverpool Plains. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance.

Background

In July and September 2017, respectively, Lock the Gate made applications to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet for information about Shenhua’s application to renew its exploration licence for the Watermark mine. That information encompasses secretive dealings between Shenhua and the NSW Government that resulted in the buy-back of around 51% of the exploration licence, which covered the highly fertile “black soils” of the Liverpool Plains, at the cost of $262 million to the public.

Whilst the NSW Government claims that the buy-back was necessary to protect the black soils from mining, and thereby the agricultural industry of the Liverpool Plains, Lock the Gate contends that the buy-back will do nothing to lessen the expected impacts of the mine. Furthermore, Lock the Gate argues that the buy-back was completely unnecessary. The NSW Government could have used its powers under the Mining Act to reduce the size of the exploration licence by 50% upon its renewal without the payment of any compensation to Shenhua.The NSW Government could also have cancelled the exploration licence outright given that Shenhua had allegedly failed to comply with a condition of the licence that required substantial development of the Watermark mine to have commenced by October 2016, eight years after the initial grant of the licence in 2008.

The information sought by Lock the Gate includes Shenhua’s submissions on the licence renewal application, its request for the abovementioned licence condition to be suspended, Ministerial briefings and draft deeds of agreement about coal exploration and mining titles. The NSW Government has withheld this information on the basis that, amongst other things, it contains Cabinet information, was provided in confidence, or that its release may be prejudicial to Shenhua’s business interests – and therefore that there is an overriding public interest against its disclosure.
On the contrary, Lock the Gate argues that the overwhelming public interest in the release of the information is clear.

Access to this information will increase the accountability and transparency of the NSW Government in relation to the exploration and development of coal in the Liverpool Plains. This is particularly important in these circumstances where the Government has done deals with a private, foreign-owned, coal mining company behind closed doors and these have resulted in the expenditure of vast amounts of public funds without clear justification.

Access to this information is also vital for the public to have confidence in the decision-making processes of the NSW Government in relation to dealings about coal mining and exploration projects. This is essential where these dealings involve projects that are likely to have significant economic, social and environmental impacts and in which a number of stakeholders have expressed competing views. 

The more transparency around those deliberative processes, the more likely it is that they will be of high quality and will serve the public interest.

The matter is listed for hearing on 9 May 2018.

Brendan Dobbie, solicitor for EDO NSW, has carriage of this matter for Lock the Gate and our Principal Solicitor, Elaine Johnson, is the solicitor on record.

We are grateful to barrister Scott Nash for his assistance in this matter.


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Friday, 22 December 2017

Adani circles the wagons in Queensland


@AnnastaciaMP exercising the Queensland Government's right of veto


Townsville Bulletin, 18 December 2017:

ADANI has announced it will part ways with its main contractor for its Carmichael megamine.

The Indian mining giant released a statement this morning heralding the change, which comes after Downer pulled information on Adani recruitment events from its website.

Downer was set to develop and operate the mine, but Adani will instead run the mine as an owner-operator.

“Following on from the NAIF veto last week, and in line with its vision to achieve the lowest quartile cost of production by ensuring flexibility and efficiencies in the supply chain, Adani has decided to develop and operate the mine on an owner operator basis,” it read.

“Adani and Downer have mutually agreed to cancel all Letter of Awards and Downer will provide transitional assistance until 31st March 2018.

“Adani remains committed to develop the Carmichael project and will ensure the highest level of standards and governance.

Map of section Galilee Basin, Qld


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Tony Windsor on fighting the Santos pipeline


They were there in an attempt to survey a pipeline to convey coal seam gas from gas giant Santos’s proposed Narrabri gas field. As one landholder, David Chadwick, said: the pipeline was the “head of the snake” and if allowed to proceed would provide the infrastructure to convey the gas to Sydney or internationally and provide the political pressure to develop about 850 gas wells near Narrabri, with a view to hundreds more across the Liverpool Plains and associated areas.” [Tony Windsor, former  independent member for the federal seat of New England]

The Saturday Paper, 9-15 December 2017:

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event.

Within minutes, farm vehicles from all the neighbours converged on the scene. Others moved in on the trespassers from the eastern side and in a pincer movement the trespassers became trapped and unable to gain access to their vehicles.

By this time, about 100 agitated and concerned farmers, their employees and families were there to express their disgust at what had just occurred. The police had also arrived.
It was ascertained that these trespassers were not your everyday illegal pig hunters or bushwalkers. But they were no less illegal and in breach of the law.

These trespassers were eventually allowed to leave after the police took their details. They proceeded to another small town called Warren, more than 100 kilometres away, where they were observed acting strangely.

The next day, they were followed on the ground by vehicle and in the air by aircraft and again they invaded private lands without appropriate authority and were hunted off. They returned to Coonamble to complain to police about being harassed, and then they left the district.

The trespassers were dressed in new clothes, trying to look like ecological scientists but without any identification. They had a security officer with them.

The question is why? Why would these people climb over a gate to gain access to the property when on that gate was a sign warning about biosecurity, with the farmer’s mobile phone number on the sign? Why wasn’t contact made? Why were they behaving like this?

It has often been said there will be wars over water. In its own way, the scene I was watching was a skirmish in what has the potential to become a war and rewrite the politics of water, land use and energy in this country. It was also an insight into how threatened the farm community felt and demonstrated how it would be difficult to fight these farmers’ guerilla tactics. It was a warning they were serious players.

It also occurred to me that most people in our major cities would not necessarily understand why a small community would mobilise itself so quickly at an apparent breach of their rights.

This article is an attempt to explain some of the detail and policy clashes that will evolve over the coming year, on the Liverpool Plains, on the plain country west of the Pilliga, and around the Adani coalmine in Queensland.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Adani Group still cannot find financial backers for Galilee Basin mega coal mine


Indian multinational, the family-owned Adani Group, appears to have financed its Queensland mining venture with debt.

The book value of Adani Enterprises' Carmichael mine project was just under US$2.3bn by mid-2017. While latest report shows its debt has risen by almost US$400m to US$3.83bn.

This debt is further complicated by fraud allegations and investigations by the Indian Government.

The Guardian, 7 December 2017:

Adani’s operations in Australia appear to be hanging on by a thread, as activists prove effective at undermining the company’s chances of getting the finance it needs.

China seems to have ruled out funding for the mine, which means it’s not just Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine that is under threat, but also its existing Abbot Point coal terminal, which sits near Bowen, behind the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign against the mine has been long. Environmentalists first tried to use Australia’s environmental laws to block it from going ahead, and then failing that, focused on pressuring financial institutions, first here, and then around the world.

The news that Beijing has left Adani out to dry comes as on-the-ground protests against construction of the mine pick up. Two Greens MPs, Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker, have been arrested in Queensland for disrupting the company’s activities.

Is China’s move the end of the road for Adani’s mega coalmine in Australia, and will the Adani Group be left with billions of dollars in stranded assets?.........

While threats to reputational damage were not effective against Adani Group, since it is family-owned, the same was not true of Australian banks, which were targeted heavily by activists.
And one by one, each of the big four Australian banks ruled out financing the mine.

The first of the big four banks declared it would not lend to the project two years ago. NAB distanced itself from the mine in September 2015 and ANZ followed suit in December.
Then in April this year Westpac became the third of the big banks to rule out funding the project, drawing criticism from resources minister, Matthew Canavan, who said the bank had a conflict of interest because of its interest in other coal-producing regions, and called for a boycott of the bank.

Undeterred, and in the face of a large campaign by environmental groups, the Commonwealth bank followed suit in August this year.

By then Adani had seen the writing on the wall, and had shifted to seek finance from overseas institutions. It entered negotiations with the state-owned China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which was thought to raise the potential of subsidised Chinese government loans.

The Australian government, which was seeking to give Adani its own subsidised loan, had supported the company’s efforts in China, according to a freedom of information request by the Australia Institute that reveals “several hundred pages” relating to formal representations to foreign financiers by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade…….

Friday, 8 December 2017

It should come as no surprise that the Adani Group is offering traditional owners compensation which is well below industry standard


We, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, are the Traditional Owners of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. Corporate conglomerate, Adani, wants to use our ancestral lands for their Carmichael coal mine.
We do hereby firmly REJECT a Land Use Agreement with Adani for the Carmichael mine on our traditional lands.
We DO NOT consent to the Carmichael mine on our ancestral lands.
We DO NOT accept Adani’s “offers” to sign away our land and our rights and interests in it. We will not take their “shut up” money.
We will PROTECT and DEFEND our Country and our connection to it." [http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/our-fight/]

ABC News, 1 December 2017:

A hotly contested deal between Adani and traditional owners of its proposed Carmichael mine site in Queensland's Galilee Basin would deliver compensation "well below" what most big miners pay, according to a new analysis.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people would only get 0.2 per cent of Adani's earnings from the mine, less than half the industry average, respected mining industry outfit Economics Consulting Services has found.

Its report, obtained by the ABC, was commissioned by six W&J representatives whose looming court challenge to the deal stands as the final legal hurdle to Adani's contentious mega-mine.

It found the W&J people would earn up to $145 million over 30 years, out of the project's estimated $77.4 billion in gross revenue, a share which was "well below industry benchmark standards".

The benchmarks for such deals usually ranged from 0.75 per cent to 0.35 per cent.

Only 11 per cent of the deal would come to the W&J people in cash, up to $17.4 million over 30 years, or about $2,300 a year per adult member of the clan.

Report author Murray Meaton, who was awarded an Order of Australia in 2014 for services to the mining industry, found the benefits to the W&J people would be "dramatically lower" if job promises for locals fell short as they did "in most jurisdictions and agreements".

To gain finance for the $21 billion project, Adani needs an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the W&J people, or it must call on the Queensland Government to forcibly extinguish any native title claim over the mine site in the Galilee Basin…….

The Adani supporters in the W&J have argued the mine is inevitable and they need to seize the miner's offer to economically benefit their people, including some who live in Queensland's more disadvantaged communities.

However, the anti-Adani group object to the destruction of their ancestral lands and culture, and contest the legitimacy of the meeting that approved the Adani deal.

The dispute will go to trial in the federal court in Brisbane in March.

The case has pushed back Adani's deadline on clinching finance for the project, which remains in doubt.

Wangan and Jagalingou have been defending their country in court since at least 2008.

The Guardian, 3 December 2017:

Traditional owners opposed to the Adani Carmichael coalmine have filed an application for an injunction with the federal court to prevent the native title tribunal from signing off on an Indigenous land use agreement before the outcome of a court challenge.

The application was filed following a meeting of the W&J traditional owners council in Brisbane on Saturday, where the 120 attendees voted against the Ilua for the fourth time since it was proposed in 2012.

Echo NetDaily, 6 December 2017:

North Coast Greens MLC Dawn Walker and NSW Greens mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham were arrested yesterday by Queensland police after taking part in a blockade of the Adani Carmichael coal mine rail construction site at Belyando, 270km west of Bowen.

The MPs were arrested at 6:35am along with a dozen other climate activists and charged with trespass unlawfully on a place of business.

Ms Walker said, ‘It was a very important day for me, stopping work on the Adani mine and being arrested with climate activists who understand the importance of preventing this destructive project from going ahead,’ said Greens MP Dawn Walker.

‘I was proud to stand with traditional owners who have said ‘no means no’ to Adani, and made it clear they will not be surrendering their land and water to this coal corporation.

‘Although this mine is miles from anywhere, the eyes of all Australia are on it. We have travelled days to get here but believe many more will follow.