ACTIVISTS ACCUSED ON ADANI
Jobs claim ‘ based on assumptions’
NORTHERN Australia Minister Matt Canavan has slammed activists for continually rubbishing the number of jobs that the Adani Carmichael coal mine is expected to create.
During a visit to Townsville yesterday, Senator Canavan told the Bulletin that the computer modelling used to calculate the widely circulated 1464 jobs figure was “not worth relying on”.
It follows months of speculation about jobs at the mine, with activists claiming it would be impossible to reach 10,000.
ACIL Allen Consulting’s Jerome Fahrer was Adani’s expert witness in the Land Court in 2015 when he said that 1464 jobs would be created “over the life of the project”.
Mr Fahrer used the computable general equilibrium ( CGE) method, which recognises that there are a finite number of workers and that jobs created di directly and indirectly by a proje ject will mean, for the most p part, that there will be fewer jo jobs elsewhere.
Since he testified in the Land Court, activists have been quick to latch on to the figure despite a report by GHD that revealed the mine would create a about 10,000 jobs.
Mr Fahrer told the Bulletin he was sticking by his method, despite the State and Federal governments and Adani advocating for GHD’s larger figure.
Mr Canavan yesterday accused the activists of having double standards.
“You should ask these activists what computer modelling they’re using for renewable projects,” he said.
“They’re all perfectly legitimate models but there has to be one rule for all ( projects).
“If you’re going to use a standard for the coal sector, use it for both.”
Mr Canavan said computable general equilibrium modelling could not be relied upon for a “precise estimate”.
“It doesn’t consider the second round affects,” he said.
“Trying to use CGE for a specific mine is a danger because the statistics just aren’t good enough and it’s based largely on assumptions.”
Direct jobs refer to people employed at the mine while indirect jobs refer to the flow- on effects, such as workers spending their salaries or suppliers providing products.
Mr Fahrer said he preferred the method that he used.
“I think my method I use is the correct one but reasonable people can disagree,” he said.
“There’s too much emphasis on the amount of jobs created. Either way, it’s still a positive boost to the economy.”
Adani spokesman Ron Watson said Mr Fahrer’s model was a net figure and conservative. “Both ( methods) can be taken as correct,” he said.
“The fact is they’re saying 1400 people but there’s going to be more than 1000 on the mine site every day, then you’ve got the rail operations, you’ve got the port operations, then you’ve got the people who are doing the works for us in construction which is at least a couple thousand just for the rail line.
“Now do they or don’t they count?
“We stand by the figure of 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and some modelling even puts that as conservative.”
A State Government spokesman said the Palaszczuk Government supported Adani’s coal and rail projects.
“The project proponent estimates that the mine, rail and port project will generate more than 5000 direct jobs at the peak of construction and more than 4500 direct jobs at the peak of operations,” he said.
“They also advise that the 1464 jobs quoted in the Land Court was a yearly average of only mine- related jobs, whereas the above figures are the predictions of the peak jobs required.”
Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan.