Taxpayers foot the bill for secret Adani deals
The Queensland Government is offering major financial subsidies to Adani’s coal project, including a secret deal on royalties worth hundreds of millions and a free access road worth $100 million, shows a new report from The Australia Institute.
The report estimates the royalty deal will lend Adani between $215 million to $385 million, on terms the Government is still keeping entirely secret.
“The Queensland Government has said repeatedly that it will not provide taxpayer funds to Adani, but Queenslanders are on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars because of these deals,” says Tom Swann, Researcher at The Australia Institute and report author.
“Documents released to The Australia Institute under Right to Information law show in 2015 Queensland cabinet agreed to give “non-financial support” to coal mines in the Galilee Basin.
“Then last year the Government rushed through a “transparent royalties framework” to give Adani the royalties deal.
“At the time this deal was, in the Government’s own words, “not much beyond the press release”, which needed to be “kept tight”.
“This royalty deal is a subsidised loan just like the $1 billion loan the Queensland Government vetoed from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
“The Queensland Government has effectively set up a subsidised loan facility to give beneficial arrangements to mining companies. No other industries can get a deal like this. Queenslanders can't get cheap loans for their mortgages through this framework.
“The Government claims the deal won’t impact on the state budget, but that is contradicted by their refusal to release hundreds of pages of documents about the deal, which officials claim relate to budget processes.
“There are also new doubts Adani’s smaller rail connection to the Aurizon network is eligible for the deal, even on the Government’s own terms.
“Additional documents released under Right to Information show the government is also considering funding the “Galilee Basin Access Road”, worth $100 million. This is despite Adani promising to pay for this road, which they admit would almost exclusively benefit themselves.
“Adani has not yet accepted the offer and it must still be signed off by cabinet.
“Ultimately the Queensland Government should be working towards a moratorium on new coal mines. It certainly should not be subsidising their construction. These subsidies should be ruled out immediately.”