Decision by Queensland government to rule out Adani royalties subsidies and NAIF loan support welcomed

MEDIA RELEASE May 27

Peak state environment group Queensland Conservation Council has welcomed confirmation that the Queensland government has formally resolved to rule out public subsidies such as a ‘royalties holiday’ to Adani for its Carmichael coal mine.  It is understood that the new policy positon on ‘royalties holiday’ will also be applied consistently for future coal mines.  It allows for a deferral option, but interest will be charged on deferred amounts, excluding a direct subsidy.

Queensland Conservation Council also understands that the Queensland government has further resolved not to receive or administer funds from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).  This puts substantial pressure back onto the Federal government to both ensure transparency and accountability to the NAIF loan mechanism, and now develop a new mechanism for how any funds would be processed and administered without a state jurisdiction.

This position and the clarified royalties position are both consistent with election commitments from the 2015 state election. The announcements followed a week of intense political and community debates about whether Adani would receive special treatment for its proposed mine.  The outcome represents a much clearer and reasonable stand on use of public funds for the mine within Queensland Labor, and brings it into line with the Federal Labor position.  These contrast with apparent Federal and Queensland LNP policies of supporting public subsidies for the Adani mine.

The announcements do not directly prevent the Adani Carmichael mine from proceeding, but they do add to substantial doubt about the financing and policy support for the mine. The Queensland Conservation Council remains strongly opposed to the Adani mine.

Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig said: “We very much welcome the decision from the Queensland government that it will now rule out a ‘royalties holiday’ for Adani for its proposed Carmichael mine”.

“We also very much welcome the decision from the Queensland government that it will not receive or administer tax-payer funds through the NAIF.

“While we do not believe any new coal mines, including the Adani mine, should proceed given global warming trends and the imperative of carbon emissions reduction, we still welcome these announcements.

“These are big, important decisions, consistent with previous election commitments.  We thank Deputy Premier Jackie Trad for holding the line on this matter, and we thank the Palaszczuk Cabinet and government for locking in on a better final position.

“We understand that jobs and economic opportunities in north and central Queensland are important issues, but we think there are better solutions than reliance on mega coal mines.

“Our message to both the Queensland and the Federal government is that this is the wrong climate for a new mega coal mine, or any new coal mines for that matter.  We need to stop relying on coal and other fossil fuels for energy and revenue generation.

“If we are to subsidise energy and exports, let’s make them geared towards renewable energy and smart climate change mitigation technologies.

“And our message to Adani now is: When you’re in a hole, don’t start digging!”

For further comment contact:

Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183

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