As the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) considers a $1 billion concessional loan to foreign coal company Adani, a new report from The Australia Institute raises major concerns about the NAIF’s political independence, governance, resourcing and public transparency.
Climate & Energy Program
Despite widespread coverage, little is known about the NAIF or the $1bn NAIF loan proposal for Adani’s coal rail. Lacking robust governance policies, including some required by its legislation, and poorly resourced, NAIF should reject the immense political pressure to fast-track the loan.
The Australia Institute also lodged FOI requests with the NAIF. The FOI briefing note is here.
New polling of Dawson, the seat held by George Christensen, conducted by ReachTEL, commissioned by The Australia Institute, shows support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party at level pegging with the LNP at 30% of the primary vote.
Issue-based questions in the same poll revealed strong support in Dawson for an increase to the renewable energy target and strong opposition to a company tax cut for big banks.
ReachTEL conducted the survey of 863 residents across the federal electorate of Dawson during the evening of 20th February 2017.
---See results in PDF below---
The Australia Institute says Turnbull must discuss coal with Jokowi
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit Australia this weekend, as The Australia Institute releases new research on Indonesian energy policy. The Institute has called for coal, energy and climate to be on the agenda for talks with President Widodo.
Australia and Indonesia are the world’s two biggest coal exporters, controlling 50% of the world thermal coal trade, similar to OPEC’s control of the world oil trade.
With exports to key markets declining, Indonesia’s huge coal industry is pinning its hopes on expansion of domestic coal use. Current policy would triple numbers of coal-fired power stations and ignore Indonesia’s huge renewable energy potential.
In a post-truth world, the ability of an industry to generate its own "alternative facts" is likely to be an asset in the short term and a liability in the long term. Indeed, for those who crave certainty and value continuous disclosure, the willingness of some firms to move well beyond simply putting a positive spin on events is a significant new investment risk.
The Australia Institute provided advice to EDO NSW and the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association on the possible economic effects of closing Wallaby Scrub Road, in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Rio Tinto proposes to close the road in order to expand the Mt Thorley-Warkworth coal mine.
As the mining boom ends, the mining clean-up boom is beginning. New research from The Australia Institute released today shows that there is minimal information available to the public on how the clean-up is progressing.
The report, Dark side of the boom: What we do and don’t know about mines, closures and rehabilitation in New South Wales, (attachment below) is the first in a series examining how mine site rehabilitation is being measured and managed.
Report on what we do and don’t know about mines, closures and rehabilitation in New South Wales.
Little data is available to the public on the clean-up from the mining boom. State government agencies often lack basic information on how many mines are in operation, with still less published on closures and abandonments.
In the 2016 budget the government announced that it would close carbon tax compensation to new recipients of welfare payments. This would save the government $1.4 billion over the forward estimates, by reducing the income of some of the poorest Australians by around $10 per fortnight.
This cut was introduced to the Parliament in September 2016 in the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016, but was scrapped when it did not gain Senate support. The Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform Bill 2017 again seeks to remove the clean energy supplement from Centrelink payments.
In this briefing note we restate the case against reducing these payments.