Jobs claim ‘ based on as­sump­tions’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

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.

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