Stealthing the Adani shell company: Key dates for Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd

by empathiser

The public record shows us that four years ago Adani began negotiating with local councils under the corporate banner of Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd (CRN) for the purposes of developing their Galilee Basin coal complex businesses. But it wasn’t until March of 2018 that Adani formally advised the Queensland Coordinator General (CG) of the change of name of the proponent for the North Galilee Basin Rail Project (NGBR) from Adani Mining Pty Ltd to Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd, and the addition of Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd as the rail proponent for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project (CCMR).

I was prompted to prepare a log of key dates and the primary sources that confirm them when I discovered an RTI (Right to Information) disclosure made to Lock the Gate Alliance (LGTA) in July 2019. The disclosure related to the North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS) application by Adani and contains the revelation that Adani regarded Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd as the proponent for the rail component of both the North Galilee Basin Rail Project and the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project more than a year before they informed the Coordinator General of the change of proponent. Crucially the disclosure shows that the Queensland government were informed, on the eve of the senate estimates hearings into the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), that Adani were running a new rail proponent. The release of the LGTA disclosure was made more than 2 years after the original RTI application, this time frame strongly suggests that LGTA made at least 2 appeals before for achieving success.

Under the act that governs the functioning of the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) the Coordinator General can, in writing, permit a proponent to delay reporting a change of proponent details for an unspecified period. It is likely that at some point in late 2016 Adani requested written advice from the CG indicating that they had unlimited time to inform them of a change of proponent. My understanding of the relevant act, the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act), is limited, but it is plain to see that it confers extraordinary, and unprecedented powers and privileges for large scale and controversial mining developments. This makes interpretation of Adani’s actions, sanctioned by the Coordinator General, extremely difficult to analyse. I would argue that the various NGOs and think tanks networked with the Stop Adani Alliance and the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) collectively possess the capacity to apply knowledge of the SDPWO Act to good effect. What remains to be done is to follow up previous RTI applications with targeted applications using the terms “Carmichael Rail Network” and “ Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd”.

It is clear that federal Liberal National Party (LNP) politicians were aware that Adani was running a secret proponent and it is clear Queensland Labor politicians were aware that Adani was running a secret proponent. Both parties had access to commercial in confidence information about the NAIF loan applicant. My question is why were Larissa Waters and members of the Stop Adani Alliance confident that they knew the name of the secret proponent? The crucial primary sources supporting the claims made in this document from Environmental Justice Australia (EJA), and this, and this article by Stephen Long are not available online. The first specific contention made by EJA and Stephen Long in the lead up to senate estimates hearings was that the Adani loan applicant was one of a group of shell companies which included Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd whose holding companies were housed in the Cayman Islands. The second contention was that Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd was the holder of the royalty deed. In the absence of primary sources, these claims, supported by people like Adam Walters – principal researcher and Energy Resource Insights, and associate professor Thomas Clarke – director of the Centre for Corporate Governance at UTS do not form a compelling case identifying which Adani entity was applying for the NAIF loan.

In a written question on notice to Matt Canavan’s portfolio in March 2017 Larissa Waters asserted that “the company that owns their proposal for the railway line is ultimately owned in the Cayman Islands”. The confidence shown by Larissa Waters in asserting that she knows which Adani entity was the NAIF loan applicant was not supported by publicly available documents or evidence that those documents exist. Either Larissa Waters’ confidence came from her belief in the voracity of the claims made by Stephen Long and EJA, or it came from knowing that Adani had communicated to the Queensland government 2 months earlier that they were running a different proponent to the one listed on the DSDMIP website. It’s quite possible that the rumour mill provided Larissa Waters knowledge of Adani’s statements to the Queensland government. Was the existence of Adani’s secret proponent an open secret?

As far as I can tell, not a single RTI application in Queensland contains the words “Carmichael Rail Network” or “Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd”. Only 2 RTI disclosures mention Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd. The Greens and StopAdani Alliance members were very concerned about the specific Adani proponent in line for the NAIF loan, but once the NAIF loan was vetoed that concern evaporated. There is little to no evidence that any Greens politician, Stop Adani Alliance member or CANA member have made any effort to analyse or reveal the nature and function of Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd.

Unpacking the part played by the Queensland and federal governments in masking the establishment of a new proponent necessarily requires the unpacking of the North Galilee Basin Rail Project and Separable Portion 1 (SP1) (the remnants of the rail line proposed for the Carmichael mine). As I have demonstrated repeatedly in my blog, the Greens, StopAdani Alliance and CANA have no interest in unpacking the rail corridor and the deals done to establish Traditional Owner consent.

 

Background from my blog

‘References to NGBR in reports by environmental organisations about the NAIF concessional loan to Adani: Briefing Document’

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/references-to-ngbr-in-reports-by-environmental-organisations-about-the-naif-concessional-loan-to-adani-briefing-document/

Confirmation that the North Galilee Basin Rail Project is the Adani rail project being considered by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/confirmation-that-the-north-galilee-basin-rail-project-is-the-adani-rail-project-being-considered-by-the-north-australia-infrastructure-facility/

Unpacking the Galilee Basin shell game

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/unpacking-the-galilee-basin-shell-game/

Parties to the Galilee Basin shell game: The Greens

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/parties-to-the-galilee-basin-shell-game-the-greens/

Plan B, Separable Portion 1 and the new Adani proponent

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/plan-b-separable-portion-1-and-the-new-adani-proponent/

Briefing: Adani’s Plan B rail corridor

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/briefing-adanis-plan-b-rail-corridor/

Key terms

Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd (CRN)

Queensland Coordinator General (CG)

North Galilee Basin Rail Project (NGBR)

Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project (CCMR)

Right to Information (RTI)

Lock the Gate Alliance (LGTA)

North Galilee Water Scheme (NGWS)

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)

Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP)

State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act)

Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)

Liberal National Party (LNP)

Environmental Justice Australia (EJA)

Separable Portion 1 (SP1)

 

21 key dates

The following is a list of 21 dates that represent the advancement of Adani’s spearhead contribution to the creation of the Galilee Basin coal complex. Very few of the sources and links have been cited by The Guardian Australia, Fairfax, ABC or NewsCorp journalists, even less has been shared by the Greens, StopAdani Alliance or Climate Action Network Australia members. I have included screen grabs whenever possible and have captured the text from each to demonstrate that the source documents are authentic.

Date: Jan 27, 2016

Source: Whitsunday RC minutes

Subject: Material change of use for rail infrastructure

12.7 2016/01/27.23 20150644 – REFERRAL ENTITY RESPONSE –

STATE DEVELOPMENT AREA APPLICATION

FOR MATERIAL CHANGE OF USE FOR RAIL

INFRASTRUCTURE (RAIL PACKAGE 4) IN

THE GALILEE BASIN STATE DEVELOPMENT

AREA, CARMICHAEL RAIL NETWORK PTY

LTD

screenshot.1307

https://www.whitsunday.qld.gov.au/DocumentCenter/View/1999

Date: May 11, 2016

Source: Whitsunday RC minutes

Subject: Material change of use for rail infrastructure

12.1 2016/05/11.11 20150643 – REFERRAL ENTITY RESPONSE – APPLICATION FOR MATERIAL CHANGE OF USE FOR RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE (RAIL PACKAGE 3) IN THE GALILEE BASIN STATE DEVELOPMENT AREA, CARMICHAEL RAIL NETWORK PTY LTD

screenshot.1308

https://www.whitsunday.qld.gov.au/DocumentCenter/View/2327

Date: January 10, 2017

Source: RTI Disclosure 16-417 (A), DNRME

Subject: CRN listed in Adani water licence application

Due to the size of the Project, Adani Mining has progressed the assessment for much of the rail, and

the Port, separately to the CCP. The entire rail line from the mine to the Port of Abbot Point will be

approximately 388 kilometres (km) long, known as the Carmichael Rail Network (CRN). The

proponent for the CRN is the Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd as trustee for the Carmichael Rail

Network Trust.

screenshot.1306

https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1448461/16-417_A.pdf

Date: May 15, 2017

Source: DTMR rail safety correspondence and Rail Regulator’s Report

Subject: Rail transport operator accreditation

I can advise that the Adani rail transport operator accreditation was surrendered by Adani Mining Pty Ltd when the CRN entity was granted accreditation.

[ ]

Greg Robertson, A/Senior Manager (Rail Safety Policy) | Road and Rail Safety
Land Transport Safety | Customer Services, Safety and Regulation Division | Department of Transport and Main Roads

screenshot.1309

‘Rail Regulator’s Report 2016–17: A report on safety performance on the rail network in Queensland’. ‘Appendix 1: Accredited Rail Transport Operators as at 30 June 2017’.

screenshot.1304

https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Rail-safety/Rail-regulator-yearly-report

Date: June 6, 2017

Source: Daily Mercury – John McCarthy

Subject: AECOM contract

Mr Janakaraj announced a further contract for the Carmichael Rail Network linking Galilee Basin mines to Abbot Point.

screenshot.1334

https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/breaking-adani-given-green-light-for-16b-megamine/3186322/

Date: Sept 8, 2017

Source: ASIC extract

Subject: CRN ultimate holding company change from Caymans to Mauritius

08/09/2017 484 Change To Company

Details

484D Change To

Ultimate Holding

Company

484N Changes To

(Members) Share

Holdings

08/09/2017 3 08/09/2017 7E9427173

screenshot.1310

Date: Sept 19, 2017

Source: We Suspect Silence blog and Riverine Protection Permit Exemption Requirements, Version 2.01, 13/11/2019

Subject: CRN made an ‘approved entity’

On September 19, 2017 Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd was added as an ‘approved entity’ for the purposes of ‘Riverine Protection Permit Exemption Requirements’. The available documents don’t indicate if Adani Mining Pty Ltd have ever applied for, or been added as an ‘approved entity’.”

https://wesuspectsilence.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/plan-b-separable-portion-1-and-the-new-adani-proponent/

1.03 19/09/2017 Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd added as approved entity.

screenshot.1305

https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/?a=109113%3apolicy_registry%2friverine-protection-permit-exemption-requirements.pdf

Date: December 12, 2017

Source: Brisbane Times

Subject: NAIF loan veto

“My government provides formal notification to the Commonwealth that financial assistance should not be provided to Adani for the North Galilee Basin Rail Project,” she wrote.

screenshot.1333

DQ08AIKVoAAboao

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/queensland-premier-writes-to-pm-to-veto-1-billion-adani-loan-20171212-p4yxn4.html

Date: March 14, 2018

Source: Whitsunday RC minutes

Subject: Material change of use and approval of lease

12.12018/03/14.09 20170846 – DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT PERMIT FOR MATERIAL CHANGE OF USE -NON-RESIDENT WORKFORCE ACCOMMODATION (400 BED TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION CAMP); AND OPERATIONAL WORKS – PETER DELAMOTHE ROAD, COLLINSVILLE, CARMICHAEL RAIL NETWORK PTY LTD

screenshot.1311

and

17.2Confidential Matters – Corporate Services 17.2.22018/03/14.25 APPROVAL OF LEASE CARMICHAEL RAIL NETWORK PTY LTD Moved by:P RAMAGE Seconded by: D CLARK Council resolves subject to the granting of Ministerial Consent under Section 236 (f) Local Government Regulation 2012 award the lease for Lot 87 SP 232119 to Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd for an annual lease payment of $250,000 (excluding GST) per annum for a term of two years.

 

screenshot.1312

https://www.whitsunday.qld.gov.au/DocumentCenter/View/3689

Date: March 27, 2018

Source: Letter from the Coordinator General

Subject: Change of proponent

Adani Mining Pty Ltd (Adani) Is aware that Carmichael Rall Network Pty Ltd as trustee for the

Carmichael Rail Network Trust {CRN) has submitted to your Department an application for

evaluation of environmental effects of proposed change to the North Galilee Basin Rail Project

Coordinator-General’s Evaluation Report on the Environmental Impact Statement (Change

Request 1), .Adani acknowledges and confirms that the proponent for that application Is CRN

and it applies to the NGBR Project.

screenshot.1314

http://services.dip.qld.gov.au/opendata/RTI/released-documents-rtip1819-036.pdf

Date: June 11, 2018

Source: Change of proponent disclosure RTI1819-036-DSDMIP

Subject: Confirmation of proponent details

From: Ece Azman

Sent:

To:

Monday, 11 June 2018 9:03 AM

Sam Redman

Cc: Corinne Templeton

Subject: RE: Two web requests to be updated by Monday

Good morning Sam,

I am happy to confirm that your requested web updates for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project and the

North Galilee Basin Rail Project have been amended and now live.

screenshot.1315

http://services.dip.qld.gov.au/opendata/RTI/released-documents-rtip1819-036.pdf

Date: December 13, 2018

Source: Lenz Moreton – Revised Adjudication Decision

Subject: AECOM contract

B. REASONS. Background 1. AECOM Australia Pty Ltd (referred to in this adjudication as the “claimant”) was engaged bythe Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd (referred to in this adjudication as the “respondent”), to carry out engineering design services relating to the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project involving the: 1. development of the Carmichael Coal Mine; and 2. development of the Carmichael Rail Network, constituting the “work”.

screenshot.1331

https://www.lenzmoreton.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/181213-Revised-Adjudication-Decision-desktop.pdf

Date: January 11, 2019

Source: Adani Mining Pty Ltd – EPBC Compliance Report North Galilee Basin Rail Project

Subject: Activites undertaken between October 2017 October 2018

Details of activities undertaken during report period

Early works activities undertaken included the

establishment of temporary fencing, clearing and

grubbing, filling and excavation and surveys

including environmental and cultural heritage.

screenshot.1323

http://services.dip.qld.gov.au/opendata/RTI/released-documents-rtip1819-036.pdf

Date: January 29, 2019

Source: Isaac RC minutes

Subject: CEO to negotiate and execute an interface agreement

11.5 Carmichael Rail Network (CRN) Interface Agreement
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On 14 August 2018, Council authorised the Chief Executive Officer to “negotiate and execute an Interface Agreement regarding the CRN rail line interfaces with roads controlled by Council pursuant to section 60(1) of the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)”. At that time, the draft Interface Agreement provided for two rail-road crossings, namely the proposed CRN rail line interfaces with Bulliwallah Road at Ch 353.654km and Stock Route U401 at Ch 322.100km. Due to the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project reconfiguration and the resultant proposal to maintain the current alignment of Moray Carmichael Boundary Road rather than to construct a realignment of the road, there is a new rail-road interface with Moray Carmichael Boundary Road. This Report provides further background with respect to the new rail-road interface with Moray Carmichael Boundary Road.

Resolution No.: 5838

Moved: Cr Jones Seconded: Cr Bethel

That Council:

1. Extend the Chief Executive Officer’s authorisation to negotiate and execute an Interface Agreement regarding the CRN rail line interfaces with roads controlled by Council pursuant

screenshot.1316

https://www.isaac.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/768/confirmed-minutes—ordinary-meeting—tuesday-29-january-2019

Date: February 26, 2019

Source: Isaac RC minutes

Subject: Authorising negotiations with CRN

11.11 Infrastructure Access Agreement -Adani

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Council is requested to note the draft agreement and basis for negotiations with Adani Mining Pty Ltd (Adani) and Carmichael Rail Network (CRN) and to authorise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to progress negotiations.

Resolution No.:5894

Moved: Cr Vea VeaSeconded: Cr BethelThat Council:1. Notes the draft Infrastructure Access Agreement. 2. Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to continue negotiations with Adani Mining Pty Ltd and Carmichael Rail Network and report to Council again in March on progress and/or outcomes of negotiations prior to any formal agreement being reached.3. Acknowledge the effort and work from staff involved with getting this draft agreement to this point, in particular the Senior Advisor, former Executive Support Officer, Director Engineering and Infrastructure and Engineering and Infrastructure officers

screenshot.1318

https://www.isaac.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/770/confirmed-minutes—ordinary-meeting—tuesday-26-february-2019

Date: April 29, 2019

Source: Isaac RC minutes

Subject: Confidential deliberations on CRN inetrface agreement

PROCEDURAL MOTION:Resolution No.: 5973Moved: Cr Vea VeaSeconded: Cr LaceyThat Council close the meeting to the public at 12.06pm under Local Government Regulations 2012Section 275 (1) (h) to deliberate on confidential report 11.1 Infrastructure Agreement Update and report 11.2 Carmichael Rail Network Interface Agreement and confidential discussions relating to report 10.1 Division 4 Appointment to Vacancy of Office – Shortlisting of Nominees.

screenshot.1319

And

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT

Closed under s275 (1) (h) other business for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage.11.2Carmichael Rail Network Interface Agreement

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report is to provide Council with an overview of the content of the Carmichael Rail Network Interface Agreement for consideration and approval for execution.Resolution No.:5977 Moved: Cr Vea VeaSeconded: Cr JonesThat Council approve the Carmichael Rail Network Interface Agreement and authorise the Chief Executive Officer to execute and vary the Interface Agreement subject to:1. Consistency of the Interface Agreement with the Carmichael Mine Project Infrastructure Agreement; and 2. Satisfactory finalisation of the Interface Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Risk Assessment which is currently with an independent Rail Safety Consultant engaged by Council for review. Carried

screenshot.1320

https://www.isaac.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/775/confirmed-minutes—special-meeting—tuesday-9-april-2019

June 13, 2019

Source: Isaac RC minutes

Subject: Approval of infrastructure agreement with Adani

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT Closed under s275 (1) (h) other business for which a public discussion would be likely to prejudice the interests of the local government or someone else, or enable a person to gain a financial advantage. 11.1Infrastructure Access Agreement Carmichael Mine and Rail Project EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Council is requested to approve the final draft agreement with Adani Mining Pty Ltd (Adani) and Carmichael Rail Network (CRN) and to authorise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to execute the Agreement. Resolution No.:6093 Moved: Cr JonesSeconded: Cr LaceyThat Council:1. Approves the final draft Infrastructure Access Agreement with Adani Mining Pty Ltd and Carmichael Rail Network 2. Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to finalise negotiations, execute, administer and vary the agreement to the extent that the variation or cumulative effect of the variations are not material. Carried

screenshot.1330

https://www.isaac.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/2013/confirmed-minutes-special-meeting-thursday-13-june-2019

Date: August 5, 2019

Source: Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator – Accreditations

Subject: Accreditation as a Rail Infrastructure Manager (RIM) and Rolling Stock Operator (RSO)

Carmichael Rail Network Pty Ltd CRN RIM xxxxxxx QLD 1 July 2017 Variation 5 August 2019 Complete

screenshot.1322

https://www.onrsr.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/4975/National-Rail-Safety-Register-Accreditation-21Jan20.pdf

Date: October 18, 2019

Source: Adani media release and FAQs

Subject: Martinus contract

MEDIA RELEASE 18 October 2019 Martinus Rail partners with Adani to deliver $100 million rail contractAdani today announced the more than $100 million rail contracthas been awarded to Australian-founded and operated Martinus Rail, with the contract being delivered out of Rockhampton.In a major win for regional Queensland, the contractor will base itself out of Adani’s newly opened Rockhampton Business Centre, ensuring Rockhampton businesses and people will be in prime position to participate in the contract delivery.Adani Mining CEO Mr Lucas Dow said that more than $450million worth of contracts hadalready been awardedon the Carmichael Project, the majority toregional Queensland areas.

screenshot.1327

https://www.adaniaustralia.com/-/media/191018%20-%20Adani%20partners%20with%20Martinus%20Rail

The Carmichael Project was redesigned in 2018 to be a 10 million tonne per annum mine and 200km railway, which will see 1,500 direct jobs and 6,750 indirect jobs created during ramp up and construction.

screenshot.1328

https://www.adaniaustralia.com/-/media/Project/Australia/Fact-sheets/ADI0117—Adani-Mining—Jobs-FAQ-V2.pdf

Date: November 8, 2019

Source: Adani media release

Subject: Decmil contract

Decmil will design and build three 400-bed temporary accommodation camps along the Carmichael Rail Network corridor.

screenshot.1326

https://www.adaniaustralia.com/-/media/191105%20-%20Adani%20partners%20with%20Decmil%20FINAL

Date: December 11, 2019

Source: Adani media release

Subject: Siemens contract

MEDIA RELEASE 11 December 2019

Siemens to deliver safety rail signaling systems for Carmichael Rail Network

After a significant competitive tender process, Siemens has been awarded acontract to deliverrail signaling systemsfor the Carmichael Rail Network.The digital system is designed to keep the trains running safely and efficiently. Siemens core technology helps avoid derailments, which secures aclean environment along the rail line.

screenshot.1324

https://www.adaniaustralia.com/-/media/191211%20-%20Adani%20partners%20with%20Siemens%20FINAL