End of road for Adani's $16-bn coal mine as Australian PM too says `no' to funding
03 June 2016
With no one to fund the project that has been opposed by environmental groups all along, Adani's struggling $16-billion Carmichael coal mine project may never come up.
The mega-mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin, which has failed to attract private lenders, has now been denied public funding as well.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is on the campaign trail, is reported to have assured environment groups ''there is no public money for Adani'', which effectively means the death knell for one of the world's largest coal mining projects.
A climate activist, dressed as the computer animated clownfish Nemo, who confronted Turnbull with the issue of public money being used to help Adani develop its controversial coal mine, is reported to have extracted an assurance from the prime minister that public money would never be used to bail out the struggling project.
The flagging mega-mine and railroad project in Queensland's Galilee Basin, which struggled to attract private finance to get the Carmichael mine off the ground, was looking for public money to bail out the project.
But, now, reports say that after taking a selfie with Nemo (the environmentalist) for his grandson, Turnbull said ''there is no public money for Adani''
Environmental groups are elated at Turnbull's comment, which meant the Australian state would not subsidise the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef before his grandson is old enough to enjoy it.
Environment groups like Greenpeace and 350.org issued press releases hailing Turnbull for his apparent rejection of an effective subsidy through the $5 billion Investment Facility that the state was to provide to the mining project.
Some others tweeted: "Nemo on the election trail getting real results (a commitment to no public $ for Adani!) #ausvotes #endofcoal pic.twitter.com/f6zS8kpIUS - AYCC (@AYCC) June 3, 2016"
Reports said the former Newman government in Queensland state, where the project is located, had agreed to provide a soft loan for rail infrastructure that would connect it to Port Abbott seaport, which is key to the mine's success. However, the Labor government which assumed power withdrew the offer.
With coal prices steadily falling and the coal mine project in Queensland facing steady opposition from environment groups, its Indian backers also backed out, and in February this year 13 major banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) have ruled out finance for the project.
Speculation has since been rife that the federal government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility might provide soft loans for Adani's rail or port infrastructure, which would improve the economic viability of Adani's project.
But the prime minister's statement now ''effectively stops Adani in their tracks''.
Prime Minister Turnbull's staff, however, did not rule out the possibility of the Board deciding to assist in the construction of infrastructure linked to the Adani project.