Continual legal battles has delayed the opening of a ‘megamine’ in Queensland’s Galilee Basin for nearly seven years, but this Tuesday Guatam Adani announced he had signed off on the project.
“I am proud to announce the project has Final Investment Decision (FID) approval which marks the official start of one of the largest single infrastructure — and job-creating — developments in Australia’s recent history,” the mining company chairman said.
However, critics highlight that the project is far from securing full funding to begin work, with Queensland’s Greens senator, Larissa Waters calling the announcement a “PR stunt” designed to pressure the government into providing funds for the mine.
“This so-called final investment decision is meaningless, Adani is still broke, and 19 banks have refused to fund their deadly mega-coal mine,” Waters said.
“Today’s announcement does not mean the mine will go ahead, it’s a grab for a $1 billion handout of public funds form the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.”
Adani has claimed the mine, which would be one of the world’s largest, would create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for the region, with the people of Townsville set to reap the most rewards.
Meanwhile, Indigenous academic Marcia Langton has decried anti-Adani campaigners at a mining industry event in Melbourne on Wednesday night, saying that the concerns and livelihoods of many Indigenous people are being ignored.
“Let me be clear for those who are not aware of the problems we face: cashed-up green groups, some funded by wealthy overseas interests, oppose mining projects with often-flimsy evidence and misrepresent the evidence to the public,” Langton said on Wednesday night.
“They deliberately thwart the aspirations and native title achievements of the majority of Indigenous people by deception, by persuading the media and the public that a small handful of Indigenous campaigners who oppose the legitimate interests of the majority of their own people, are the truth-tellers and heroes.”
Environmental campaigners are primarily concerned about the impacts of burning coal for the atmosphere, as well as the direct damage coal exports will have on the Great Barrier Reef.