‘Adani mine an ou­trage’

Prom­i­nent business lead­ers slam Carmichael project

The Observer - - NEWS - Charis Chang

OP­PO­SI­TION to Adani’s coal mine con­tin­ues to build as two prom­i­nent Aus­tralian business lead­ers came out against the project.

En­tre­pre­neur and phi­lan­thropist Michael Myer of the prom­i­nent Myer re­tail­ing fam­ily, and In­trepid Travel founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Geoff Manch­ester, have both de­cided to speak out against the $16.5 bil­lion project in our re­gion’s Galilee Basin.

The two men share sim­i­lar con­cerns but were not aware of the other’s views be­fore go­ing pub­lic.

“The mine it­self is an ou­trage,” Mr Myer told news.com.au.

“It’s a stranded as­set ... and the pro­po­nent (Gau­tam) Adani is ba­si­cally do­ing a very good job at con­ning our politi­cians at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment.”

But he said the fact that gov­ern­ments were sub­si­dis­ing the project was also con­cern­ing. Fed­eral, state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments have all agreed to, or are con­sid­er­ing, pro­vid­ing the project with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance.

Mr Myer said the eco­nom­ics of the project did not stack up and the lead­ing sup­port­ers of the project were politi­cians, not those in the business world.

“The whole line that this is good for Queens­land jobs is far­ci­cal and delu­sional,” Mr Myer said.

“It doesn’t stack up eco­nom­i­cally and as time goes on the eco­nom­ics get even worse.”

While the gov­ern­ments have con­tin­ued to spruik the “10,000 jobs” that will be cre­ated, Adani’s own ex­pert has ad­mit­ted the fig­ure will be closer to 1400 once jobs lost in other ar­eas are taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Mr Myer be­lieves the 10,000 num­ber is “myth­i­cal” and the real num­ber will likely be even less than 1400, as many oper­a­tions can now be au­to­mated.

These jobs could also come at the ex­pense of oth­ers.

At risk is Aus­tralia’s lu­cra­tive tourism in­dus­try with many con­cerned about the im­pacts of cli­mate change on the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“Tourism op­er­a­tors are very con­cerned about this be­cause we’ve al­ready seen some neg­a­tive im­pact on the Great Bar­rier Reef from bleach­ing in the last cou­ple of years,” In­trepid chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Geoff Manch­ester said.

“We’ve al­ready had seen some lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tors im­pacted.”

In­trepid runs tours around the world so Mr Manch­ester is not too wor­ried about his own business but he said the reef was of huge im­por­tance to Aus­tralia.

“We are com­ing into an era of po­ten­tial growth in Aus­tralia, Asian coun­tries are be­com­ing more wealthy and trav­el­ling in larger num­bers,” he said.

Mr Manch­ester said Asian tourists, es­pe­cially those who lived in pol­luted cities, wanted to ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture and an­i­mals they would not nec­es­sar­ily see in their home coun­tries.

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