The ADANI Group (one of the biggest conglomerate from India) had announced its final investment decision on the Carmichael, the biggest coal mine in the history of Australia on June 6, 2017. The announcement was made at the opening of their office at Townsville by Billionaire Adani chairman, Gautam Adani, who had claimed “this would be the largest single investment by an Indian corporation in Australia” with the project injecting around $21 billion into the Queensland economy, providing around 10,000 jobs, countless opportunities for small and medium businesses along the supply chain and create a real buzz of economic activity in many rural communities.
At the time, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had said: “This project will deliver jobs across the state… What I’m saying very clearly to the rest of the state and to other companies is that you’re welcome to invest in Queensland, that we have a government that will back you 100 per cent.” Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan, welcoming the ADANI investment decision had said: “It is a great message for north Queensland and a great future now that we can all get along and work on.”
It was also announced in early October 2017, that Adani had negotiated a deal with the Townsville City Council to base a Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) hub in Townsville to service the Carmichael Mine Project.
However, the surprise fast tracking of the State elections in Queensland hit the Adani project adversely and it did not take off as intended during last September. Further, aided by the never-ending opposition of environmental lobbyists and their supporting protest groups, some new and unfavourable developments took place that the Australian media were quick to catch on. For instance:
- In December 2017, Re-elected Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to veto a federal loan to the Adani coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin
- Adani scrapped a $2 billion agreement with Downer EDI, to outsource the operation of its controversial Queensland coal mine after the state government killed off a taxpayer-funded loan. Adani says it will now develop and operate the Carmichael project on an owner-operator basis
- Productivity Commission now says Adani mine may have failed loan criteria for the North Australian Infrastructure Facility anyway
- The FIFO deal has been referred to Local Government Department in Queensland for possible investigations arising out of a complaint received
- More protestors from outside Queensland are arriving at the Adani site daily
With all these sudden unfortunate developments, it is not clear as to how ADANI will be managing the odds to go ahead with the project. However, one thing is becoming increasingly clear. If the Adani project does not take off, no other Indian company will be interested to invest in Australia.
Adani project is not only important to Queensland but also to Australia-India trade and economic relations.
The ADANI PROJECT at a glance
- 19 December 2014– Downer EDI awarded mining contract
- 12 October 2016– The Palaszczuk Government’s upgraded the project infrastructure to critical
- 27 October 2016– Townsville Enterprise called on Governments and Oppositions to end delays and prioritise the project
- 25 November 2016– Court dismissed granting of Adani mining lease, Environmental approval objections in Court
- 5 December 2016– Final major State and Federal Government approval achieved
- 6 December 2016– Townsville North Queensland secures Adani regional headquarters
- 31 May 2017– The State Government agreed to a royalty deal with Adani
- 6 June 2017– Adani Regional Headquarters declared open in Townsville North Queensland by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
- 6 June 2017– Adani Chairman, Gautam Adani formally gave the Carmichael Mine Project the green-light
- 14 June 2017– Native Title Bill passed through the Senate
- September 2017– Early construction was due to commence but got delayed
- October 2017 – Adani negotiated FIFO deal with Townsville Council
- December 2017– Queensland Government announced to veto Federal loan to Adani
- December 2017– Adani terminated $2 billion agreement with Downer EDI
- Jan 2017– Adani FIFO deal referred to Local Government for investigations