Adani's $700 million royalty holiday

Media Release 25/11/2019

Queensland government and Adani royalties deal deadline fast approaching.

On Monday the  Mackay Conservation Group handed a petition with more than 1200 signatures to  Mackay state MP Julieanne Gilbert calling on the Queensland government to keep their election promise not to use public money to fund Adani’s mega coal mine in central Queensland. 

The Queensland government are currently in negotiations to gift the Adani mine a royalty-free holiday that would allow Adani to defer royalty payments to Queensland for up to 10 years. Assuming the mine ever become profitable. 

The Mackay conservation group have gathered the petitions from our support in central Queensland and around the country because we are concerned that the Queensland government are on the cusp of subsidising Adani’s Carmichael mine to the tune of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The agreed deadline for the negotiations is the 30th of November though taxpayers may never know the terms of any agreement as both parties have remained secretive about the talks, citing commercial in confidence.

The previous deadline for negotiations of 30th of September passed without an agreement or an explanation from Adani or the Government  but spokesperson for the Mackay Conservation Group Mr Michael Kane said  that Adani Australia are so heavily in debt that the company  may not have any  assets or cash reserves that the Queensland government could accept as collateral for such a  massive loan.

“We  know that the government is  considering a deal that could effectively save or delay Adani paying  up to $700 million in royalties.''  Said Mr Kane. “In the last state election, the premier promised that no government funding would be given to Adani and that the  Carmichael mine must stack up financially.”

“Any royalty holiday for Adani would  break that promise and would amount to an enormous  government subsidy or taxpayer-funded loan.”

“Australia’s mineral resources belong to all of us and royalties are the price that every mining company has to pay so that Australian receive a fair return for our non-renewable resources. Why should Adani get special treatment when every other mining company in Australia have to pay their fair share.”

“The Queensland government has already done far  too much to support a project that will contribute to the destruction of the Reef and guzzle up to a trillion litres of the ground and river water over the life of the mine.” 

“Significant questions have been raised by financial experts about Adani Australia’s financial position. Adani Australia is currently carrying billions of dollars in debt and hasn’t paid any real taxes in Australia since 2011.  If the Carmichael project turns out to be unviable or fails, then taxpayers will be left to foot the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“The fact that Adani is asking for a special Royalty deal highlights that the project does not stack up financially. There isn’t a single financial institution in the world who  are prepared to finance Adani’s mine why is the Queensland government even considering it?”

End of release.

For interviews contact

Michael Kane 

michael@conservationgroup.org.au

Mackay Conservation Group

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#StopAdani Mackay meeting & Christmas Party

You're invited to join us for an action-packed night full of fun climate action planning and Christmas celebrations!

It's our last #StopAdani meeting for the year - and what a year it's been! Join a group of dedicated and passionate locals as we end our year with a bang and plan our next big steps for climate action in 2020. Afterwards, we'll celebrate with music and food! Please BYO drinks and a plate to share 🥂🎄

RSVP HERE!

WHEN: Thurs 28th Nov, 2019
TIME: 5:30 - 8PM
WHERE: Environment Centre, 156 Wood St MACKAY

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Crazy ants threaten Whitsundays

yellow crazy ant worker and queen on a leafThe Whitsunday Region with its beautiful rainforests and spectacular islands attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Most of them are welcome but there is one particular type of visitor that we wish had never arrived.

Back in July it became public knowledge that an infestation of Yellow Crazy Ants had been found around Shute Harbour. Investigations have revealed that they have established themselves in the Conway National Park and on land outside the park.

Yellow Crazy Ants have caused severe disruption to natural systems. On isolated Christmas Island several species of crab have evolved unique behaviours. The Christmas Island Red Crab spends most of its life on land, only returning to the marine environment to breed in a spectacular annual mass migration. The red crabs recycle nutrients such as leaf litter, a role that is essential to maintain the health of the island’s forests.

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Adani wants your money for its dirty mine

Adani is currently in private negotiations with the Queensland Government to secure a royalty holiday so they can afford to build their mega coal mine in the Galilee Basin. 

The deal could extend until the mine is profitable, which most financial analysts think it will never be. In documents disclosed under Freedom of Information laws, Queensland Treasury officials described the Adani mine as “unbankable”.  At stake is up to $700 million in royalties that should be used to fund Queensland’s firefighters, schools, hospitals and roads.

The government has set itself a deadline of November 30 to make a decision but Queenslanders may never know the details. Both Adani and the government are refusing to divulge information about the secret agreement, citing commercial in confidence.

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Coal miner speaks out on climate

Grant Howard lives in Queensland and is a coal miner currently working in the Bowen Basin

At 17, fresh out of school, I landed my first job as a coal miner and have been doing that ever since. I grew up in a coal heartland of Wollongong, south of Sydney, the location of some of the oldest mines in the country. As a teenager, I took mining for granted, just like I took the amazing beaches, beautiful escarpment and bush for granted.

I have worked in all aspects of underground coal operations, including longwall extraction, developing access roads, methane drainage and supervising coal mining crews in these processes.

For the last two decades I have been lucky to live and work in Queensland. I have worked through boom and bust cycles where mining corporations hired workers, then laid them off and shut mines when it suited. I witnessed the growth of automation which has led to a contraction of jobs, and will continue to do so in the future. I have also seen the industry talk up job prospects to get their latest mine approved, and then seen the actual numbers drop once production began.

In recent years I bought a piece of land outside of Mackay where I stay when I’m not rostered on in the Bowen Basin. I’ve grown to love this block but I worry about its survival too, having witnessed the severe impacts of extended heatwaves and changing rainfall patterns on the bush and the animals that live there.

After watching what climate change is doing to my land, and knowing that burning fossil fuels is making these extreme conditions worse, it strikes me we have a clear choice. We can protect Queensland’s unique way of life and exceptional environment by transitioning to clean energy. Or dig more coal, for limited jobs and economic benefit, at a time when the trend away from coal is accelerating.

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Climate change increasing fire threat in rural QLD

Mark Ogge speaks to the Kuttabul community fire forumMackay Conservation Group recently sponsored a community bushfire forum in Kuttabul so that locals could find out more about the future likelihood of fires and how to prepare.

The Australia Institute’s principal adviser, Mark Ogge, told the forum that data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) showed that our region will become hotter in future. We are on track to have less rainfall, more hot days and, most importantly for bushfire risk, many more hot nights.

Andrew Houley from the Rural Fire Service said that firefighters use the night time, when temperature and wind speed falls, to get on top of bushfires. 

The BoM data shows that our region currently has about 15 nights per year with a minimum temperature above 25°C. In the worst-case scenario we may suffer through nearly 50 hot nights in 2030 and up to about 160 by 2090. That will make it much harder for Rural Fire Brigade volunteers to do their job.

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Feast of St Francis of Assisi - Blessing of pets

In celebration of the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Kerrisdale Garden Chapel invites you to bring your feathered and furry loved ones to the blessing of pets and animals!

The family-friendly service will be held on Sunday 6th October at 10am and led by ecumenical Chapel Community members on the front lawn of Kerrisdale Gardens.

St Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment and his ongoing legacy is more important than ever. We have a special responsibility to look after the animals both within our care, and who we share this world with.

You're invited to bring your (restrained) dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and even horses for the blessing.

WHERE: Kerrisdale Gardens (35 Norwood Pde, Beaconsfield)
WHEN: Sunday 6th Oct
TIME: 10am

RSVP HERE!

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Sausages For Sustainability!

Join us and other-like minded locals for a beautiful day in the Mackay Community Gardens for a sausage sizzle lunch! Vegetarian and vegan options will be provided - all you have to do is BYO drinks. 

Organised by our West Mackay Community Leader, Brooke, the lunch will be a chance to talk about anything environmental in a casual setting. 

What environmental issues concern you? What parts of nature do you love and want to conserve for the future? Or do you just want to learn more? Come along and have a chat with us!

Meat sausages proudly sponsored by the local and sustainable Freckle Farm.

WHEN: Sunday 29th Sep, 2019
TIME: 12PM - 2PM
WHERE: Mackay Community Garden (Sarah St, West Mackay)

For catering purposes, please RSVP here!

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Sep 20 - Mackay Global Climate Strike

School strikers around the globe are calling on EVERYONE to join them for the SEP 20 - Global Climate Strike!

Mackay high-school students, School Strike 4 Climate and Mackay Conservation Group have been working hard to make this the biggest and loudest school strike yet!

WHERE: Jubilee Park, Mackay (corner of Wellington St and Alfred St)

WHEN: Friday, September 20th 2019

TIME: 12pm - 1:30pm

BRING: Banners, signs, instruments and voices!

Click here to RSVP and for more information

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Great Barrier Reef Forum 1st October 2019

~ WATER QUALITY AND THE GREAT BARRIER REEF FORUM ~

Learn about the opportunities we have to alleviate the Reef from one of its leading pressures.


With talks from a diverse array of experts in the field, including: Jon Brodie (scientist), Katrina Dent (Reef Catchments), Simon Mattsson (cane farmer), Hon. Leeanne Enoch (QLD Environment Minister).

 

WHEN: 1ST OCTOBER, 2019
TIME: 7:00 - 8:30PM
WHERE: THE MACKAY ENTERTAINMENT CONVENTION CENTRE 258 Alfred St, Mackay QLD 4740

 

Click here to RSVP and for more information.

 

Turtle photo credit: The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers. 

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