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$21B coal project would collapse without government subsidies says think tank

Workers at the Carmichael Coal Project. (Photo credit Adani Australia)
Workers at the Carmichael Coal Project. (Photo credit: Adani Australia)

An Asia-backed $21 billion coal development would not proceed at all if the State Government did not prop it up with billions of dollars in tax breaks, researchers have warned.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) claims India-headquartered Adani would fail to construct and operate its Carmichael Coal Project without $4.4 billion of tax exemptions, deferrals and capital subsidies from Australian taxpayers.

“The Adani Carmichael thermal coal mine project would not open nor survive without these billions of dollars in ongoing subsidies being provided by the Queensland and Australian governments over the coming three decades,” IEEFA energy finance studies director Tim Buckley said in an emailed statement.

‘Never stand on its own two feet’

The allegation was published in a briefing note entitled “Billionaire Adani being subsidised for Carmichael thermal coal mine: Adani’s thermal coal mine in Queensland will never stand on its own two feet”.

“Adani again have not got their act together, and are stringing Queenslanders and their government along,” Buckley said.

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Proponent did not need a ‘cent’

Adani was on track to receive the seven year low-interest royalty capital subsidy deal from the State Government earlier in the week despite the State Government ruling out providing any public money for the project and also Adani chief executive Lucas Dow’s promise the proponent did not “require a cent of Australian taxpayer dollars”.

“Why should Australian taxpayers give billions of their hard-earned dollars to what is most likely already be a stranded asset, owned by a foreign tax haven based billionaire with a history of paying next to no corporate tax in Australia this past decade?” Buckley said.

Under the current arrangement the proponent will produce 17 per cent of its coal without paying royalties.

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