Michael West, ACF and the Dirty Deeds report: An incredible silence
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) have claimed that they will “pursue all avenues” to stop the 1 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan that was broadly reported in early December, 2016. I will show here that there are many reasons why one of those avenues should be telling the truth and not staying silent in the face of the shell game played by Adani, all levels of government, senior editors, and quite probably the impact philanthropists who drive the green movement.
Michael West prepared the Dirty Deeds report for ACF, but nowhere in the report is there any reference to the North Galilee Basin Rail Project. NAIF and Matt Canavan have never named the rail project for which the loan is earmarked, and they have never named the Adani entity that has applied for the loan. I would argue that this lack of confirmation is no reason for an investigation that completely ignores a rail project for which there have been significant developmental goals achieved.
A bad example.
In December Greenpeace released their ‘Off Track: Why NAIF can’t approve the Carmichael Rail Project’ report which cites the ‘North Galilee Basin Rail Project, EIS Executive Summary’ in reference to the exclusivity of “the rail line”.
Greenpeace effectively invented a project called the “Carmichael Rail Project” which kept the name of the actual rail project under investigation out of the spotlight. No project with the name “Carmichael Rail Project” is mentioned on any Queensland Department of State Development publications, nor does any other environmental group use this contrived proper name. The two projects in question are called the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project (CCMR) and the North Galilee Basin Rail Project (NGBR).
A good example.
The Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) in their April 18, 2017 update titled ‘North Galilee Basin Rail approvals and NAIF’ take the position that it was “broadly reported” that the NAIF loan was earmarked for the NGBR and as such consideration should be given to the elements of that particular project. Just like all of us, they are required to work with provisional assumptions in the absence of a primary source provided by NAIF showing precisely which Adani entity is applying for the loan and which particular rail project would receive funding. This was the first time that EDO Qld has issued an update or advice about the NGBR.
Getting the content right and wrong.
Gail Burke and Dea Clarke prepared a piece on December 3, 2016 that was cited by EDO Qld in their April update and by Greenpeace in their Off Track report. It now contains a map showing both the CCMR and the NGBR. Before I got in contact with Gail Burke on December 3 the image shown in the article showed only the CCMR.
How do we know?
350.org.au created an archive copy of the Courier Mail exclusive from December 3, 2016 by Renee Viellaris. This piece has become the compromised primary source for information about the Adani NAIF loan application. No other digital copy of this article is available online.
The Sydney Morning Herald & The Guardian Australia reported the content of the CM article on December 3 which includes mention of NGBR and various details from the CM exclusive.
Michael Koziol and David Wroe
2 key industry players we don’t talk about.
In contradiction to the assertion by Greenpeace that “the rail line” will be “exclusive”, Resolve Coal who have their proposed Hyde Park mine site adjacent to the proposed Carmichael mine site claim to have an “existing” MOU with Adani.
On their web page titled ‘BIODIVERSITY OFFSETS FOR MAJOR GALILEE BASIN PROJECTS’ CO2 Australia specify that they delivered offsets for both CCMR and NGBR.
Others bother to name the project.
The Australia Institute ‘Don’t be so Naif’ report was cited multiple times by Michael West in the Dirty Deeds report and mentions NGBR describing it as the “specific proposal under consideration”.
3 Indigenous Land Use Agreements relating to the North Galilee Basin Rail Project signed with Adani Mining PTY LTD in 2014.
The 2 rail projects.
Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project
North Galilee Basin Rail Project
Largely ignored by Australian media.
Recent and very clear statements made by Adani spokespersons and Adani Australia CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj in the Economic Times of India.
The “combined project” and “critical infrastructure” announcement.
Jackie Trad announced that the NGBR was part of a ‘combined project” and “critical infrastructure” last October.
Queensland Law Society, October update following the combined projects announcement.
RTI disclosure showing stakeholder and bureaucrat communications leading up to the combined projects, critical infrastructure announcement.
QCF response to combined projects
Stop the means of export.
In the Dirty Deeds report Michael West shares the questions he presented to the office of the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo. The second of the 3 questions intrigued me:
“2. Has the Minister discussed this kind of solution (as the rail line is dependent upon the mine being built and Efic is already devoting resources to assist NAIF in project evaluation)?”
I would argue that the rail line is not dependent on the mine getting built, but rather the rail line getting built will assure that the many mines proposed for the Galilee Basin get developed. The rail line is the means of export that makes opening up the Galilee possible, and a greenfield, vertically integrated, multi-user standard gauge rail line is the most profitable way of delivering the necessary economies of scale to justify investment in the Galilee Basin.