Showing posts with label environmental vandalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label environmental vandalism. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis: a portrait of political ignorance


Extract from an email sent by NSW Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (former surveyor, property developer, local government councillor) on 20 May 2020:

Timber harvesting operations take place in around one per cent of State forests each year, which is around 0.1 per cent of forested land in NSW.

Well managed, sustainable timber harvesting operations provide the essential renewable building products our communities need to rebuild following the recent fire season, from power poles, to timber bridge and house frames.

By ensuring an ongoing wood supply, we will help maintain local jobs when they are most needed and meet the critical timber supply needed to rebuild our local communities.

Our forests have been harvested and regrown many times over the past 100 years. Importantly, they have also successfully recovered from bushfires before.

A small number of selective harvesting operations that commenced prior to the fires have continued under the strict regulations governing native forestry in NSW.

These rules require Forestry Corporation to set aside large areas of habitat in every operation they carry out. These rules have been developed by expert panels of scientists to ensure wildlife populations continue to thrive alongside sustainable timber harvesting.

However, the primary focus is on salvaging what timber can be recovered from those badly burnt parts of the forest. These are areas so severely affected by fires they are largely devoid of any habitat. Forestry Corporation is also preparing to embark on a massive re-planting program to recover this estate.

Well, how does one reply to a pottage of misleading statements about a timber industry rife with rule breaking and environmental vandalism?

Firstly the Forestry Corporation of NSW controls more than two million hectares of native and planted state forest in New South Wales and, annually it takes an est. 2.5 million m3 of sawlogs and around 2 million tonnes of pulpwood from these forests, which means it supplies an est 14% of Australia's timber product. This year to date the Forestry Corporation has harvested est. 1.21 million m3 of timber product.

Secondly, on a regular basis the timber industry racks up warnings and fines. As little as four weeks ago the NSW Environment Protection Authority announced that the Forestry Corporation had been fined $31,100 for failure to abide by conditions immposed concerning avoidance of environmentally sensitive areas and retention of habitat trees.

Thirdly, perhaps a few images will clearly show that even after severe bushfires, in the absence of chainsaws and logging trucks, trees will begin to recreate "habitat".

All photographs found at Google Images
And then there is this aspect.....

ABC News, 29 January 2020:

Research has also shown forests that are logged post-fire and then regenerated have an increased risk of burning in high-severity crown-scorching fires. 

This extra fire risk lasts for about 40 years after logging. That is, a burnt forest which is logged tomorrow will still carry an elevated fire risk in 2060. 

A global review published in 2009 showed that links between logging and elevated fire risk is a problem seen in wet types of forests worldwide. 

In 2016, an Australian study published by the Ecological Society of America found tree fern populations crashed by 94 per cent after post-fire logging..... 

Many burnt trees that look dead now will re-sprout in the next few weeks or months. This is already occurring in the burnt coastal forests of NSW. 

These recovering trees must not be logged. They are essential for the survival of animals like gliding possums — research shows that these animals are unlikely to return to forests that are logged immediately after burning for 180 years (if they can return at all). 

Heavy logging machinery will kill many of the plants that germinate in the nutrient-rich bed of ashes on the forest floor. 

Animals that have miraculously survived in burnt areas can also be killed in logging operations. 

Pioneering research from southern Australia has shown that fungi and nutrients in soils can take up to a century or even longer to recover from salvage logging. 

Mass movement of soils in areas logged post-burn can choke rivers and streams and trigger fish kills as well as kill many other kinds of animals....

The Guardian, 6 May 2020:

A group of senior Australian scientists have warned in an international journal that logging native forests makes fire more severe and is likely to have exacerbated the country’s catastrophic summer bushfires. 

In a comment piece published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the scientists call for a clearer discussion about how land management and forestry practices contribute to fire risk. 

The article by the scientists David Lindenmayer, Robert Kooyman, Chris Taylor, Michelle Ward and James Watson comes amid intense debate about the resumption of logging in Victoria and New South Wales in bushfire hit regions..... 

In the comment piece, the scientists say much of the conversation in the aftermath of the spring and summer bushfires had rightly focused on climate change, but the impact of land management and forestry on fire risk was often neglected in these discussions. 

They highlight this as a concern because land management policy was “well within the control of Australians” and the fires had been used by some sectors of the industry to call for increased logging in some areas. 

The paper says industry data showed that some 161m cubic metres of native forest was logged in the period from 1996 to 2018. 

“Beyond the direct and immediate impacts on biodiversity of disturbance and proximity to disturbed forest, there is compelling evidence that Australia’s historical and contemporary logging regimes have made many Australian forests more fire prone and contributed to increased fire severity and flammability,” the scientists write. 

This occurs because logging leaves debris at ground level that increases the fuel load in logged forests. It also changes forest composition and leaves these areas of forest both hotter and drier, they say. 

The article says during the bushfire season fire had spread from logged areas adjacent to old growth eucalypts and rainforests in the Gondwana world heritage reserves..... 

The Daily Examiner, 25 May 2020: 

The public was recently invited to comment on a draft code of practice – the “rule book” – for private native forestry. 

The CoP has been in place for about 15 years, with the current draft resulting from the mandatory five-yearly review. 

With the stated aim of ensuring ecologically sustainable forest management, one would expect any review to focus on that aim but unfortunately that has not been the case. 

Ecologists and conservationists have two major concerns, the first being that, while there are provisions to protect threatened flora and fauna that are known to inhabit the proposed logging areas, there is no requirement to actually look for them. 

In fact, unless there is an ­official record of a threatened species on the property, it is assumed they don’t occur there. 

The second concern is a lack of compliance monitoring and enforcement, for which there is certainly a wealth of evidence. 

Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a reason, possibly it relates to a lack of political will to take action against the industry at large. 

Perhaps it is a case of under-resourcing, poorly drafted legislation open to interpretation or all of the above but the fact remains that flouting of the code’s regulations is widespread. 

Two years ago, the Clarence Environment Centre reported one local case where a PNF ­operator broke virtually every rule in the book – literally hundreds of breaches. 

Logging on creek banks, in swamps, on rocky outcrops and on cliff edges. 

Snigging tracks were constructed on excessive slopes and across gullies, erosion control measures were inadequate, threatened species had been trampled by machinery and rubbish such as oil drums and tyres were left littering the landscape. 

The investigators spent days on site confirming the ­reported breaches and finding additional ones, yet almost two years later no action has been taken against the culprits and with the two-year statute of limitations looming, the case will likely be dropped. 

Unless operators are held to account, how can we have any faith in the supposed aim of Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management? 

John Edwards, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Time to fight for the forests in New South Wales


In the 2019-20 bushfire season wild fires ravaged forests across New South Wales.

The 100km deep coastal zone running the length of the state was particularly hard hit, but Nambucca State Forest was spared and is a critical refuge for unique wildlife still struggling after those fires.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 1 May 2020 that; Government logging has resumed in fire-damaged forests in NSW despite warnings that devastated bushland and endangered wildlife are too fragile to withstand further disruption.....about 92 per cent of the area set for logging was burnt in the fires.

On the morning of Friday 15 May 2020, Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners and the Nambucca community peacefully demonstrated outside the forest and successfully stopped the NSW Forestry Corporation logging for the day. 



This forest is one of the few remaining patches of unburnt koala habitat and critical refuge for wildlife after the recent bushfire season. 

Community action brought a welcome reprieve but the fight is just beginning. 

The people of New South Wales still need to make sure Nambucca State Forest is kept safe for good. 

Support the Gumbaynggirr Traditional Owners on the frontline by calling on your MP to take urgent action to stop this logging destruction.

Join the fight and email your own state MP to save Nambucca and all native forests from the chopping block.

If you live in the Oxley state electorate make sure to email local Nationals MP Melinda Pavey at oxley@parliament.nsw.gov.au.



At 10am on Tuesday 19 May 2019 logging trucks again entered one of the few unburnt refuges in Nambucca State Forest at Jack Ridge Road, Nambucca. If you live in the region now is the time to protest legally along boundaries of this forest at logging road entrances.

The 'Protect Nambucca Heads State Forest' group have put out a call for assistance.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Just a reminder that although the Australian Parliament is not regularly sitting during the COVID-19 pandemic, the drive to dismantle environmental protections continues apace


The Morrison Coalition Government, aided and abetted by the NSW Coalition Government and industry is pressing ahead with dismantling New South Wales environmental protections by omission & commission.

Here are just five examples.....

The Oops, my bad! Defence

The Age, 10 May 2020:

One of NSW's major thermal coal miners has admitted it submitted inaccurate figures on the carbon emissions impact of its fuel in an environmental declaration to the state government.

Centennial Coal stated in its submission for an extension of its Angus Place coal mine near Lithgow that burning its coal would produce 80 kilograms of carbon dioxide per tonne. Similar mines – including two of its own – actually cause 30 times more emissions, or 2.4 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of coal.

"Absolutely, we stuffed up," Katie Brassil, the company's spokeswoman said. "Our consultants got it wrong and so we got it wrong."

The assessment of emissions resulting from burning fossil fuels has become a sensitive one in NSW after approvals for two projects were rejected because of the impact of so-called Scope 3 or downstream emissions resulting from burning the product……

Don’t Look Here, Look Over There!

Channel 9 News, 9 May 2020:

A controversial plan for a US company to mine coal beneath a Sydney drinking water dam has been approved by the New South Wales state government while focus was on COVID-19.

Woronora reservoir, an hour's drive south of the CBD, is part of a system which supplies water to more than 3.4 million people in Greater Sydney.

The approval will allow Peabody Energy to send long wall mining machines 450 metres below the earth's surface to crawl along coal seams directly below the dam.

Dr Kerryn Phelps says the fact the decision was made "under the cover of coronavirus" is "unfathomable".

NSW has spent 12 of the last 20 years in drought, with record low rainfall plunging much of the state into severe water shortage last year.

"We know about the potential for catastrophe," Dr Phelps told 9News.com.au.

"We just cannot let this [decision] go unchallenged."…..

Washing Their Hands Of The Problems They Caused


Experts warn the Morrison government is not using its legal powers to protect wildlife from devastating bushfires, which killed billions of animals in the summer.

Under international law the Commonwealth is responsible for maintaining the biodiversity of World Heritage Areas. Under federal law, it’s also responsible for protecting threatened species listed under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Act. But experts say the Commonwealth is yet to fulfil its responsibilities.


A wombat in the charred remains of a Kangaroo Valley bushfire.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Environment minister Sussan Ley has argued states and territories have "primary" responsibility for wildlife. But environmental law expert, University of Tasmania professor Jan McDonald, said the environment minister is legally obliged to work with states to prevent bushfire damage to threatened species and World Heritage Areas.
A spokesman for Ms Ley said "other than Commonwealth-managed National Parks [such as Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta], natural disaster preparedness and response planning is led by states and territories as part of their role as the primary regulators of Australia’s plants and animals."….

Rigging The Books

The Guardian, 8 May 2020:

The federal government has stopped listing major threats to species under national environment laws, and plans to address listed threats are often years out of date or have not been done at all.

Environment department documents released under freedom of information laws show the government has stopped assessing what are known as “key threatening processes”, which are major threats to the survival of native wildlife.

Conservationists say it highlights the dysfunctional nature of Australia’s environmental framework, which makes aspects of wildlife protection optional for government.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act is being reviewed, a once-a-decade requirement under the legislation, and there are calls for greater accountability rules to be built into Australia’s environmental laws.

It follows longstanding criticism that the act is failing to curb extinction.

An unacceptable excuse’

In a series of reports since 2018, Guardian Australia has uncovered multiple failures including delays in listing threatened species and habitats, threatened species funding being used for projects that do not benefit species, critical habitat not being protected, and recovery actions for species not being adopted or implemented.

The act lists threats such as feral cats, land clearing and climate change as key threatening processes that push native plants and animals towards extinction.

Once a threat is listed, the environment minister decides whether a plan – known as a threat abatement plan – should be adopted to try to reduce the impact of the threat on native species.

But a 2019 briefing document shows the department has stopped recommending the government’s threatened species scientific committee assess new key threatening processes for potential listing.

Addressing threats to nature ... should not be treated as a luxury
Evan Quartermain”

Among its reasons given is that the department has limited resources to support the work.

The document says key threatening processes have “limited regulatory influence” – that they have little effect – and the department has limited capacity to support assessments of them. Because of this, the department did not recommend any of the key threatening processes put forward “as priorities for assessment”….

Quick, Before They Notice!

The Guardian, 23 April 2020:

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, has flagged the government may change Australia’s national environment laws before a review is finished later this year.

Ley said she would introduce “early pieces of legislation” to parliament if she could to “really get moving with reforming and revitalising one of our signature pieces of environmental legislation”.

It follows business groups and the government emphasising the need to cut red tape as part of the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and comes as the businessman Graeme Samuel chairs an independent statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. An interim report is due in June, followed by a final report in October.

When the review was announced, the government said it would be used to “tackle green tape” and speed up project approvals.

Environmental organisations have stressed the need for tougher environmental protections to stem Australia’s high rate of extinction. Australia has lost more than 50 animal and 60 plant species in the past 200 years and recorded the highest rate of mammalian extinction in the world over that period.

Ley said, with the interim report due by the middle of the year, she expected Samuel would “in the course of the review, identify a range of measures that we can take to prevent unnecessary delays and improve environmental standards”.

Where there are opportunities to make sensible changes ahead of the final EPBC review report, I will be prepared to do so,” she said.

On Thursday, Ley and the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said work was already under way to speed up environmental assessments of projects and that the number of on time “key decisions” in the EPBC process had improved from 19% in the December quarter to 87% in the March quarter…..

An environment department spokesman said key decisions covered three items in the assessment process: the decision on whether a project requires assessment under the act, the decision on what assessment method will be used, and the final decision on whether or not to approve the project.....

Thursday, 12 March 2020

A reminder that the NSW Nationals do not have the best interests of Northern Rivers communities at heart


This was the NSW Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin (left) on the subject of a particular fossil fuel whose by-products, flaring and fugitive emissions contribute to Australia's rising greenhouse gas emissions and poor water security...... 

Echo Net Daily, 21 February 2020:

A recently announced bilateral energy deal between the NSW and federal coalition governments – which includes expanding the gas industry – has the full support of local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin.
Franklin replied to the question of whether he was supportive of the expansion of the gas industry, despite it contributing to anthropogenic climate change.
He said, ‘The bilateral deal on energy signed between NSW and the federal government is a wonderful step forward’.
‘As the minister for energy and the environment Matt Kean says, “It is the single biggest state-based financial commitment to emissions reduction in the nation’s history and represents a massive Green deal for NSW”.’
It’s a statement rejected by The Greens and environmental groups.....
* Photograph from www.parliament.nsw.gov.au


Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped



Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.



What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 
willoughby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 
hornsby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 
thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 
environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 peter.gutwein@dpac.tas.gov.au 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001 
roger.jaensch@parliament.tas.gov.au

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Queensland Government gives Adani Group an early Christmas present worth up to $900 million in royalty deferrals


INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY ECONOMICS AND FINANCIAL ANALYSIS (IEEFA):

29 November 2019 (IEEFA Australia) – Queensland Treasury are expected to sign off on a massive early Christmas present worth up to $900m packaged as a seven-year royalty deferral – another term for a capital subsidy – for the Adani Group on 30 November 2019 (likely to be announced on 29 November), ironically on the one-year anniversary of Adani declaring it will self-fund its Carmichael thermal coal mine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland.
Adani Australia – part of the Adani Group of India – announced the Carmichael thermal coal mine would ‘stand on its own two feet’, without any subsidies, in November 2018.
One year later and the Adani Group is not only expected to receive a $900m royalty present from the Queensland government, but the Adani Group is also set to receive over $4.4 billion in total tax exemptions, deferrals and capital subsidies from taxpayers for the life of the Carmichael mine.
“If you give enough subsidies, anything becomes viable.”
“If you give enough subsidies, anything becomes viable,” says Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
“Global and domestic banks and insurers have turned their back on financing the Adani Group, joining the massive global financial exit away from thermal coal. To-date, 111 globally significant banks and insurers have implemented formal thermal coal restriction policies, including the latest just this week, being UniCredit, the largest bank in Italy.
“Yet the Queensland government still wants to give an early $900m Christmas present to the Adani Group for a product that faces technological obsolescence, is reliant on ongoing subsidies, and is only viable absent a price on carbon emissions.”
Under existing arrangements, Adani will effectively receive 17% of their coal for free compared to the royalty regime applying in NSW, according to The Australia Institute.
Any deal should be publicly transparent given rising stranded asset risks
“Queensland’s generosity in providing such a lavish gift to India’s richest man means local Queenslanders will NOT see royalties from Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal mine for a decade,” says Buckley. “Any deal should be made transparent to the public, and credible financial assurance needs to be put in place as a minimum to ensure eventual payment, given rising stranded asset risks....

Read the full article here.

BACKGROUND

ABC News, 14 March 2017:

Up to $3 billion from Adani's planned Carmichael coal mine will be shifted to a subsidiary owned in the Cayman Islands if the controversial project goes ahead, an analysis of company filings shows.

Key points:

  • 'Royalty deed' gives shell company rights to recieve $2-a-tonne payment beyond first 400K tonnes mined for two decades
  • Entitlement owned by company registered in Cayman Islands, controlled by Adani family
  • Carmichael coal mine's production capacity means payment ammounts to about $120 million per year
An "overarching royalty deed" gives a shell company rights to receive a $2-a-tonne payment, rising yearly by the inflation rate, beyond the first 400,000 tonnes mined in each production year for two decades.
The company with this entitlement is ultimately owned by Atulya Resources Limited, a secretive entity registered in the Cayman Islands, and controlled by the Adani family.
"In plain English, the upshot for the Adani family is [that] if the mine goes ahead, they receive a $2-a-tonne payment, so up to $3 billion, via a Cayman Islands company, a company owned in a tax haven," says Adam Walters, principal researcher and Energy Resource Insights.
With a production capacity of 60 million tonnes or more a year, that amounts to about $120 million per annum in payments, increasing each year in line with the CPI, potentially flowing offshore.
"I would describe it as a structure that means that the Adani family enriches themselves if the mine goes ahead but that other shareholders are impoverished," associate professor Thomas Clarke, director of the Centre for Corporate Governance at UTS told the ABC.
"The worry is that this may be just the beginning.
"That the Adani family have the ability to shift cash and assets around at will and in the future they may well do so at the cost of shareholders and the Queensland economy."
He said the billions flowing to the Adani private company would come at the expense of minority shareholders in the company listed on the Bombay stock exchange which ultimately owns the Carmichael mine.....
Read the full article here.
ABC News, 21 December 2016:

Giant Indian conglomerate Adani, which plans to build one of the world's largest coal mines in Queensland's Galilee Basin, has set up a complex network of companies and trusts in Australia which are owned in one of the world's major tax havens, the Cayman Islands.

The Adani Group is also attempting to shift ownership of the existing Abbot Point coal port — which it bought for $1.8 billion — to a Singaporean company ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands.

An exhaustive search of company filings and documents across the globe has cast light on this opaque structure of ownership and control.

It has alarmed environmental activists and legal experts, who fear it could make it harder to gain compensation from Adani in the event of an environmental disaster from Adani's planned mine and port expansion on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

"I've been a businessman for most of my life, as well as an environmental activist, and the risks are great," said Geoff Cousins, former Optus CEO and chairman of the George Paterson advertising agency, now a board member of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

"With these kinds of approvals of big mining operations or port operations, you always get a set of conditions that the Government puts on.

"But those conditions aren't worth anything if, when something goes wrong, you try to find the company responsible and either it has no money or if it has money it's in a tax haven and you can't reach it."

It is a view echoed by David Chaikin, a professor of business law at the University of Sydney.

"The advantage of having the money in tax havens is that you are able to conceal the source of money, the use of money, and also to minimise tax," he said…..

Adani has created four companies and two trusts in Australia for the rail project.

The parent company for all these entities is Carmichael Rail and Port Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd, a company registered in Singapore where the corporate tax rate is 15 per cent.

This Singapore parent company is in turn owned by Atulya Resources Limited, a private company controlled by the Adani family and based in the Cayman Islands.

The port expansion has a similar structure: five companies and two trusts in Australia, ultimately controlled by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands……

The Guardian, 29 August 2018:

Mining conglomerate the Adani Group is trying to prevent Indian authorities from accessing its business records as part of an investigation into an alleged $4bn fraud by power companies.
Lawyers for Adani on Tuesday filed a plea asking the Bombay high court to quash a formal request by Indian investigators to Singaporean authorities to force the company to produce information regarding its coal imports from Indonesia.
The request is part of an investigation by India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) into a $4.4bn alleged fraud by 40 power companies including six Adani subsidiaries.
According to DRI documents, the companies allegedly used fake middlemen to inflate the price of coal they were importing from Indonesia. The scheme allowed the companies to charge higher tariffs by exaggerating their production costs, the DRI claimed.
If true, the alleged scam would also have allowed the companies to siphon billions of dollars from India into offshore bank accounts where Indian authorities would struggle to tax or account for the money....