Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors

HOGSBACK has detected an infuriating reverse logic in the protests against Adani’s $16.5 million Carmichael project. They claim the project is unviable. Yet why has the company spent more than $1 billion to bring it to this point, fending off multiple legal and challenges and this week announcing its official investment decision?
Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors Hogsback and the reverse logic of Adani protestors

Lou Caruana

Protestors counter this by saying Adani still needs financing for the project. That is after those same protestors threatened to boycott Australia’s banks if they lent to it.

Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent said Adani still faced an uphill slog to secure finance for what is an “unviable project”. 

“Twenty-three banks have either distanced themselves publicly from Galilee Basin coal export projects, or introduced policies that prohibit financing Adani’s mine,” he said.

Is this the free market at work? Hardly. Foreign banks will surely line up and assess the risks of the project and charge a healthy premium when the time comes to create a debt package for the project.

The profits for the financing will therefore flow offshore.

Those mum and dad investors in Australia who own shares in Westpac or the millions of Australians with superannuation funds that invest in Aussie banks will miss out on the opportunity.     

Then there is the claim the project violates land owned by indigenous groups. 

National co-director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network Larissa Baldwin said neither the Queensland nor federal governments should allow Adani to ignore the rights of Traditional Owners who had not consented to a mine that would destroy land and culture.

“The government’s ‘Adani amendments’ to the Native Title Act are stalled in the Senate because consultation with mob has been so shoddy,” she said. 

“Putting mining rights before our land rights has got to stop.”

However, well-respected indigenous academic Marcia Langton has accused “cashed-up green groups” of harming native title ambitions in campaigning to stop the Carmichael mine.

The “environmental industry” was treating Indigenous people as “collateral damage”, she said.

The Stop Adani Alliance made up of 20 key environment groups has vowed to keep fighting the mine, despite the fact that most of their members live in Melbourne and Sydney and most of them could not tell you where the Galilee Basin is in a map of Australia.

Minerals Council of Australia executive director of coal Greg Evans said the Adani investment decision followed a rigorous approval process that had stretched over a six year period and also against the backdrop of a cynical activist campaign underpinned by foreign funding.

“Those activists need to reflect on how they sought to stop jobs for regional Queensland families and other Australians and also how they wanted to deny economic and social advancement of millions of Indian people seeking the very modest benefit of accessible electricity,” he said.

Hogsback thinks it’s time to talk honestly about this project so it can advance on its own merits.