Adani re­jects me­dia re­ports

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

THE FU­TURE of Adani’s Ab­bot Point Coal Ter­mi­nal came un­der scru­tiny once again this week, fol­low­ing re­ports in the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald on Tues­day that U.S. bank­ing gi­ants Cit­i­group and Mor­gan Stan­ley would “avoid in­volve­ment” in the project.

The re­port was wel­comed by the Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety, but sternly re­buffed by Adani.

A spokesper­son for Adani said that Mor­gan Stan­ley, one of the two banks the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald as­serts has “shunned” the port, is in fact Adani’s ad­vi­sor on the process that will un­der­pin the port’s ex­pan­sion. Felic­ity Wishart, AMCS Great Bar­rier Reef cam­paign di­rec­tor, said the decision by Citibank to rule out in­vest­ment at Ab­bot Point showed that the project was un­vi­able and rep­re­sented a bad in­vest­ment for fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

She also called on Aus­tralia’s big­gest fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions not to invest in the Ab­bot Point ex­pan­sion.

Ear­lier this year, in­ter­na­tional bank­ing gi­ants HSBC and Deutsche Bank ruled out in­vest­ing in the con­tentious project.

How­ever, the Adani spokesper­son noted that other banks held to have ruled out fi­nanc­ing the port's ex­pan­sion, such as Citibank, Gold­man Sachs, or JPMor­gan Chase, have not been asked to fi­nance the port, it's as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture, un­der­taken any con­sid­er­a­tion of the fun­da­men­tals of the project, or any con­sid­er­a­tion of the reg­u­la­tory or en­vi­ron­men­tal con­texts.

“The premise that in­sti­tu­tions who have not been asked to pro­vide fund­ing, have no in­sight into our projects, and have not stud­ied the de­tails, have de­clined to or dis­tanced them­selves from in­volve­ment is re­jected,” the spokesper­son said.

Mean­while, the Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt has un­til Mon­day Novem­ber 3 to de­cide whether or not to ap­prove the State Gov­ern­ment’s Ab­bot Point Port and Wet­lands Strat­egy, which would see dredge ma­te­rial from the port ex­pan­sion dumped on land. Whit­sun­day Res­i­dents Against Dump­ing Spokesper­son Brit­tney Gre­gory said the group wanted to see Min­is­ter Hunt en­sure a full En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact Study is un­der­taken.

“Be­cause th­ese wet­lands are frag­ile it is im­per­a­tive that the proper en­vi­ron­ment stud­ies are con­ducted,” Ms Gre­gory said.

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