No Federal Funding For Adani Coal Mine, Says Australian Leader

Adani had asked for a $900 million concessional loan for the rail link project to connect the Carmichael coal mine to the port.


The Adani Group seems to be heading towards new trouble Down Under, with the Australian government saying on Feb.4 that it would not fund the rail link project that would connect the Carmichael coal mine to the port.

Adani had asked for a $900 million concessional loan for the rail link project. The recent announcement by Karen Andrews, the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, would be a nail in the coffin to the $16.5 billion worth Adani project if it cannot get a private financer.

Andrews said that “all the approvals are already in place for the Adani mine” and whether the project can go ahead now is “just a financing issue” for the company.

“Let’s be clear, though, given the position that the Labor state government took to the last election and their election, there won’t be financing from the federal government,” Andrews was quoted as saying by Sky News Australia.

She confirmed the lack of federal financing, given the Labour government’s position on the mine during state election last year, by saying: “No it won’t be proceeding. For there to be money available from the Naif (Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility), that would require the support from the Queensland Labor government.”

The Labour government before its re-election last year had promised to veto Adani Group’s application for a loan from the Naif.

However, Andrews added that she would like to see the mine go ahead as it is “very important for jobs and employment” in northern Australia.

Group chairman Gautam Adani on Feb. 3 said in a 30-minute speech at SRCC business conclave: “Our project has faced intense resistance abetted by some international NGOs and competitors who have turned to vicious personal attacks and used the press to their advantage.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten considered stopping the project last week and then on Feb. 2 threatened the mine’s license. His rhetoric was seen as a bid to boost the party’s environmental credentials for the Batman byelection. The byelection is for the seat of Batman, named after John Batman, one of the founders of Melbourne. With David Feeney of Labour Party announcing his resignation on Feb. 1, the byelections are due to take place in March 2018.

Federal Labor, which isn’t going to provide a public subsidy or loan to the Adani mine, is now looking at further measures to block it. A number of banks, including Deutsche Bank AG, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and two Chinese state banks have refused to fund it as well.

Adani Group’s Carmichael project, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs in Australia, has been vehemently opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups, who say the project will cut into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Adani Group entered Australia five years ago in 2010 after buying the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north.

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