Australian group visits Adani HQ: Delegation asks firm to abandon coal mining project

Says $16-billion Carmichael coal project doesn’t have ‘necessary’ support of Australia’s local citizens

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: March 17, 2017 2:54:51 am

Saying that the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia does not have the “necessary” support of local citizens, a group of Australians from Queensland visited the headquarters of the company at Navranpura in Ahmedabad on Thursday and gave a letter asking the firm to abandon the mining project. This group of four Australians, comprising a prominent businessman, a farmer, a tourism operator and an environment conservationist, visited the Adani House and handed over the letter addressed to the Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani to the corporate communications team. The group, after stepping out of the company’s office, told reporters that they flew down to India to establish contact with Adani Group and convince them to abandon the project.

“This is a very important Indian company…. It would be very silly for me to be talking all the time in the Australian media, never having bothered to come to India and tried to make contact with the Adanis. So, we are here as a group of visitors to learn about India and to try and make contact with Adanis, which we have successfully done,” said Geoff Cousins, a businessman and community leader who led the delegation to Gujarat.

The company is expected to start work on the controversial $16-billion Carmichael mine — slated to be one of the biggest in the world — later this year after the federal and Queensland state governments gave the company go-ahead for the project. The Carmichael coal, railway and port project includes building Australia’s largest thermal coal mine in north Galilee Basin approximately 160 km north-west of Clermont in Central Queensland. It is expected to provide 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The letter addressed to Gautam Adani reads: “True, the Queensland and federal governments are bending over backwards to fast-track this mine. True, they have changed water laws, stripped farmers of appeal rights, are attempting to change native title laws and have earmarked $1 billion of public money to build the rail line. But we urge you to think about global warming and public health and listen to the wishes of the people. It would be a great shame if this one project were to damage the image of India in Australia. We understand the Adani Group has not made a final investment decision on the Carmichael coal mine. We strongly urge you to decide to abandon this project.”

Cousins said, “The future of Adani Group in Australia in terms of building this coal mine is bleak. I do not believe it is going to get finance. I do not believe it will every be built.”

“Our proposition is simple. Do not build the coal mine, instead invest in renewable energy, which Adanis have some of it in Australia. We will applaud you. Instead of the relationship between the two countries being damaged, it will improve,” Cousins said adding that nearly 90-odd prominent Australians, including two former Australian Test Cricket captains Ian and Greg Chappell have signed the letter that was delivered at the Adani headquarters in Ahmedabad.

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