Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan hits back at Adani critics
MINISTER for Northern Australia Matt Canavan has attacked critics who this week questioned the integrity and corporate structure of Adani.
New criticisms of Adani, which is ramping up plans to build a mine at Carmichael, have emerged this week.
Queensland Greens spokesman and political hopeful Michael Berkman said the reports showed the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility should not be used to fund a railway line to the mine.
“A responsible government would not gamble $1 billion of taxpayer money on a company implicated in tax evasion, fraud, corruption and consumer rip-offs,” he said.
“Adani’s attempts to move ownership of the Abbot Point coal port to a tax haven in the Cayman Islands will make it harder to get compensation if Adani does any environmental damage should the mine or port expansion go ahead near the Great Barrier Reef.
“On top of this, Adani is being investigated by Indian authorities for multiple counts of financial crime and corruption.”
A report by India’s Central Electricity Authority recently suggested no additional coal-based capacity would be required until 2022, but said coal made up 61 per cent of the country’s energy capacity.
Senator Canavan yesterday fired back at what he said was misleading media coverage of Adani and India’s power needs.
“This week in quite a misleading fashion, groups have been distorting the Indian economy’s need for coal,” he said.
“They ignore the reports that India will need an increase in coal, 300 million tonnes per year over the next decade.
“The average annual output of the Carmichael mine is estimated to be about 40 million so they’ll need seven times the size of that mine.”
Senator Canavan said southern-based opponents to the Adani mine were having their objections amplified without a balanced response.
“I don’t expect any news organisation to give Adani a blank cheque but to distort the conversation doesn’t help,” he said.
“It feels like I’m the only voice from North Queensland this week who has been asked for comment while certain people with agendas are regularly being given a voice.
“People in the North need a project like this, they want jobs, and I’m not sure that message is getting shared down south.”
Senator Canavan said he had been briefed on probes into Adani’s Indian companies and was not concerned until investigations were finished.