Despite their best efforts the Labor-Green alliance haven’t killed the Adani mine.
Eight years on from when it was first slated – through a dozen legal challenges, unsubstantiated vilification, ill-informed protests across the nation and a recalcitrant Labor Party at the state and federal level – the project is financed and ready to roll.
The resources sector already injects around $63 billion into Queensland’s economy, underpinning 316,000 jobs and more than 14,000 businesses. Brisbane benefits the most, where 142,000 people owe their jobs to the mining sector.
The Adani mine will be the first in the Galilee Basin and the Galilee will be the first coal basin opened in Australia for 50 years.
The development of the Galilee will create 15,000 new jobs across central and north Queensland.
Adani is the kind of nation building project that Queensland needs right now. Queensland, unfortunately, has the highest unemployment rate in Australia at 6.3 per cent. In Townsville the unemployment rate is at 8.9 per cent.
You would think that the Queensland State Labor Government, which has presided over such dire economic outcomes, would welcome such a job creating project with open arms. Instead, their response has been lukewarm and stand-offish.
This is despite the State Government approving Adani, including for environmental purposes.
The Adani project is probably the most assessed major project in our nation’s history. Now the green activists say that we should stop the mine because of carbon emissions. But the Adani project will mean that high quality Australian coal will replace low quality Indian coal and that is good for the environment.
In 2015, the Queensland Supreme Court rejected the argument that coal mining in the Galilee Basin would increase global emissions, agreeing with a previous decision of the Queensland Land Court. The Land Court concluded that there “would be no reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” if a Galilee coal mine did not proceed and “depending on the source of replacement coal, such replacement coal may well on the evidence result in an increase in such emissions.” Those who support economic rights for indigenous Australians should also support the Adani mine. Two years ago the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples, the traditional owners at the mine site, met in Maryborough and voted 294 to 1 in favour of the mine. They want jobs too.
What we need now is governments to stand up, back this project and support jobs.
Matt Canavan is an LNP Senator for Queensland