December 3, 2016

COURIER MAIL: ‘Adani’s $2b rail on track for jobs boom’

p1 Adani’s $2b rail on track for jobs boom


A 310km rail corridor connecting Adani’s Carmichael megamine to the coast is a step closer to being funded by the Federal Government.

The Courier-Mail understands up to $1 billion has been set aside by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), which has given the $2.2 billion project conditional approval.

The crucial rail corridor would connect the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point Port, near Bowen creating 2000 construction jobs for north Queensland workers hit hard by the mining downturn.

It would be the first project given funding by the NAIF, but further assessment is still to be done on the merits of the project, which also requires private investment. Adani chairman Gautam Adani will arrive in Australia next week to make an announcement regarding the $21 billion mine with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Townsville on Tuesday.

p15 FAST-TRACKED: Funding pledge for megamine rail link


A CRUCIAL rail corridor for Adani’s giant Carmichael mine project is a step closer with money set aside from the federal $5 billion booster fund for the north.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has ticked off conditional approval for the North Galilee Basin Rail Project and will now undertake more detailed assessments of the project.

Hundreds of workers who lost their jobs during the mining downturn could find work on the project, which is expected to create about 2000 construction jobs and about 370 operational jobs.

The progression could be a beacon for further foreign investment and signals fresh optimism Queensland could soon emerge from the economic doldrums.

The Courier-Mail understands that the preliminary analysis by the NAIF – which provides concessional loans – is positive and meets key economic, financial and employment requirements.

The 310km long, 100mwide rail corridor, estimated to cost about $2.2 billion, would connect the northern Galilee Basin to the port at Abbot Point, near Bowen.

Under its mandate, the NAIF cannot lend more than half of a project’s cost, meaning Adani or others will have to stump up at least $1 billion.

There are several companies lining up to invest in the Galilee Basin who may also chip in for the rail project, including GVK Hancock, a joint Indian venture with Hancock Prospecting, and Clive Palmer’s China First Mine.

The step forward is also a symbolic one. The NAIF has not yet agreed to lend money to any project, despite having about 80 funding requests.

Adani chairman Gautam Adani is due to arrive in Australia next week and is set to make another announcement with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Townsville on Tuesday.

Momentum is building for the $21 billion megamine project, with the State Government co-ordinator-general likely to grant its water licence.

If the co-ordinator-general approves it, activists who have repeatedly tried to stop or slow down the mine cannot use the courts to appeal against the decision.

Apart from jobs, the project could also substantially help Moranbah and Bowen property owners, who have seen their homes plummet in value since the mining boom came off the boil.

Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan has been vocal in public and in Cabinet over the need for the project to go ahead, and has denounced green groups that have tried to delay the investment.

Senator Canavan would not comment yesterday but has repeatedly championed the need for the mine.

“This is a $US16 billion project that will create thousands of jobs and further consolidate Australia’s role as a global resources superpower,’’ he said in August.