Adani Project Referred to Consumer Watchdog for ‘Misleading’ Claims in Australia

Adani group is “misleading" jobseekers with claims of its coal mine project creating 10,000 jobs, according to the complaint.


Environmental Justice Australia (EJA), a community legal service, has asked the consumer watchdog Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) to come down heavily on Adani Enterprises for “misleading vulnerable jobseekers” with claims of its coal mine project creating 10,000 jobs “directly or indirectly,” ABC News reported.

The EJA was acting on behalf of Chris McCoomb, a volunteer coordinator with Australian Unemployed Workers Union. The legal service asked ACCC to look into public representations by the Indian firm that would lead job seekers, including indigenous residents, to spend money training for “jobs that will never exist.” This comes two years after the Land Court of Queensland found that Adani had inflated figures by almost 700 per cent.

At least one Queensland mining training outfit is using Adani’s “inflated figures to promote sometimes costly training courses and certifications” to job seekers, according to McCoomb’s 17-page complaint. The outfit is reportedly advertising a one-day “mining induction course” for A$650 while other outfits are charging up to A$1200 for their courses.

As overseas banks distance themselves from the controversial coal mine project, advertisements published by the Adani group in newspapers last month and online job portals maintain its claim that the project will create 10,000 jobs.

Despite the Land Court’s finding that Adani overstated the job figures in 2015, state Opposition leader Tim Nicholls repeated the figure during election campaign in Queensland and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated it. The Indian envoy to Australia, Harinder Sidhu, told Hindu BusinessLine in an interview that the $16-billion Adani coal mine and rail project will be dynamic for the local economy once it’s up and running, and that “a substantial number, if not a majority of those jobs would come for the local people.”

To counter the massive protests the proposed coal mine is facing, Adani had launched a public relations campaign this year. McCoomb, who complained to EJA, said the project created a lot of false promises as they know “that the figures Adani are throwing around out there aren’t consistent with what [their expert] told the Queensland land court.”

While the ACCC spokesman did not comment on the complaint filed against Adani, the Indian company could not be reached for comment, ABC News reported. The EJA asked for ACCC’s intervention on the same issue in 2015, acting for lobby group GetUp. The consumer watchdog asked GetUp to pursue its own legal action.

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