*Pic: Flickr, Doongmabulla springs, Galilee Basin. Credit: Tom Jefferson
There can be few projects in the world causing as many internal political problems as the Adani Carmichael Mine.
This project has caused a major rift in the community of Queensland, Australia. The proposed mining has been given the go-ahead by the Australian Federal Government but is struggling to bring in the necessary funding to begin work on the 30-kilometer area of the country in which the coal mining industry has been hit hard by a switch to more environmentally clean ways of producing energy.
Australia is already ranked as the 16th worst emitter of carbon dioxide and an increase in production caused by the Adani mine would push the nation into the top 15 for its carbon footprint.
Will the mine produce the estimated job opportunities?
This is one of the major areas of concern for most in Australia who believe the estimates of the creation of 10,000 jobs is off-target by thousands. Government sponsored reports into the Adani project have placed the number of jobs expected to be created at around 1,400 as Adani has been accused of padding their figures to ensure approval of the project is given.
A further issue lies in the loss of tourism and agricultural employment opportunities which are expected to fall by more than 1,000 over the life of the mining operation which Adani hopes will last for around 60 years with six open pit mines and five tunnels.
Jerome Gregory Fahrer is an expert in mining who was employed by Adani to discuss the number of mining options open to the company and estimate the number of jobs to be created in Queensland. The expert provided an affidavit stating his belief the Carmichael mine would produce just 1,464 new jobs for the community.
Will the project add industry to the Queensland economy?
Queensland is home to a major tourism industry which many in Australia believe could be severely affected by the arrival of the Adani project which could have a devastating impact on areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland Springs. The lack of a concise plan for the project has seen Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten spend time in the area seeking to publicize plans to develop the infrastructure of Queensland to provide more jobs than would be available through the Adani mining project.
Political issues abound
When the Adani Carmichael mining project was initially announced it was given a range of objectives and requirements including providing funding from private sources, but these have so far failed to materialize with 14 banks refusing to fund the project. The latest decision by the Adani mining group is to ask for a $1 billion loan from the Australian government to fund the development of a rail line to link the proposed mine to a port where the coal produced will be exported to India.
Political leaders from around the world including Australia’s Shadow Climate Change Minister, Mark Butler ( https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/19/labor-mp-says-adani-mine-would-displace-jobs-and-sabotage-paris-targets ) and veteran Indian politician, Jairam Ramesh ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-02/former-minister-sounds-alarm-on-adanis-track-record-in-india/9005596 ) have both voiced their shock about the terms of the agreement between the Australian Government and Adani after environmental problems were seen in previous projects operated in the Indian sub-continent.
Criticism is growing
The Adani Carmichael mining project is in the Galilee Basin of Queensland where the loss of coal mining jobs in the past is being felt in the modern world. However, the decision to open a 30 kilometer stretch of the Australian nation is being fought by political experts and the local community in Queensland who feel the project is environmentally irresponsible.
Economist and former Indian Environmental Minister Jairam Ramesh have been vocal in his criticism of the project as he feels it is reminiscent of Adani’s work in his home nation which saw major tax breaks taken by the company as they failed to live up to their environmental responsibilities.
There are few who believe the environment will not be damaged
Australia is already struggling to meet its demands under the Paris Agreement which stated the global community must limit temperature rises to just two percent, a figure many believe will be impossible if the Adani Carmichael project goes ahead.
Adani has been stating its new mining project will offer clean burning coal, but reports have shown that the coal which will be mined will be of a traditional standard and not as environmentally friendly as reported.
The impact on other industries
A good example of the problems many expect to be caused by the Adani Carmichael Project is the Sim Fresh company ( https://www.simonettagroup.com.au/simfresh/about ) owned by the Simonetta family who exports wine grapes and citrus around the world; the group will see the reputation of Queensland as an agricultural producer impacted negatively and could have a major impact on their 30-year old business.
Any environmental impacts on the area will see agricultural industries severely damaged over the coming years with the planned 60-year life of the mine devastating a region which relies largely on its agricultural projects for survival.
*Noelle Neff is majoring in journalism