Taking a risk
I WRITE in response to Tony Fontes' letter of February 4 regarding Adani’s Carmichael Mine.
In April last year Jerome Fahrer, Adani’s own economic consultant, told the Queensland Land Court that the Charmichael mine would “generate 1464 jobs, including indirect jobs”.
Now, the accepted economic theory is that for every job one industry generates, another three jobs will be created in surrounding economies which means that, given that three to one ratio, the Carmichael mine will in reality generate 366 jobs. That's over the projected 30 year life of the mine by the way.
In this day and age of contract employment, economists measure a job as a one person/year contract which means that Adani’s coal mine will actually create 12 jobs a year over a 30 –year span.
On top of that, some of the worlds leading economists have predicted that the returns from the mine would be so low (the coal price has tanked) that Adani would pay almost no tax in Australia while trousering millions of Aussie taxpayers dollars in the form of the susbsidies that Mr Fontes referred to.
Given that those indirect jobs could just as well be created by building things that we actually need – schools, hospitals, affordable housing, transport infrastructure or God forbid, plants manufacturing wind and solar installations or water conservation projects – the question to ask is, do we really want to risk our world class tourist industry for so few jobs?
Most of which, if not all, will likely be FIFO in any case and not benefit locals.
While many people are willing to travel halfway around the planet to visit our beautiful, unspoiled(ish) Whitsundays , they are unlikley to come here to look at a toxic giant mine and coal port or a dead, bleached reef and according to the most recent numbers I can find ( 2014), while tourism in Qld employs around 140,000 people, mining employs about 8,000.
Clearly, people who claim that foreign mining billio- naires are going to save us all (and here I would include George Christensen) have only a tenuous grasp on reality and none whatsoever of primary school arithmetic.
Mr. Fontes in his final paragraph asks “why would any politician looking to do the best by Australia support such a project?”
The short answer is – They wouldn't!
And here I have trouble excluding George Christensen. David Avenell Bowen