A multinational freight company will not quit its role in a $21 billion coal development in Central Queensland.
Siemens Mobility confirmed there is no practical way it could cancel its rail signalling system contract for Adani Australia’s Carmichael Coal Project, 160km northwest of Clermont.
The agreement involves supplying and installing a digital system that helps avoid derailments and keep trains running safely and efficiently across the Carmichael Rail Network. The deal is estimated to be worth $31 million and create up to 50 local jobs for project staff, engineers, construction workers and tradespeople.
‘Project will still go ahead’
“There is practically no legally and economically responsible way to unwind the contract without neglecting fiduciary duties,” Siemens president and CEO Joe Kaeser said in a public statement. “Siemens has signed the contract on December 10th, 2019 … there were competitors who have been competing. Thus, whether or not Siemens provides the signalling, the project will still go ahead.”
The announcement came despite the company email inbox receiving about 30,000 messages from anti mining activist group Galilee Blockade. Protestors also allegedly trespassed, published personal information about some Siemens employees, dumped a pile of burnt wood outside of Siemens’ Queensland head office and blamed the contractor for fuelling bushfires that raged across the East Coast.
Galilee Blockade is still fighting Kaeser on his decision and hopes the company board will overrule him.
“The Stop Adani movement just pushed Siemens, a company with $150 billion in annual revenue, to convene a special board meeting to discuss their $31 million Adani contract,” the group said on Facebook. “We have real power. Siemens’ decision means we lost the initial battle. Together [we] will win the war for life.”
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However, the only way the contractor would pull out is if Adani failed to meet its environmental obligations, which has not happened so far.
“Given the importance of legitimate environmental concerns, we have secured the right to pull out of the contract if our customer violates the very stringent environmental obligations,” Kaeser said.