There has been much (purposeful) misinformation regarding the jobs to be provided by the Adani coal mine. Initially, gullible politicians were promised 10,000 jobs, and those in the Coalition thought this was wonderful. However, at the same time, Adani told their investors that the entire project would be automated from coalface to port. This, strangely enough, was to reduce labour costs. Adani was forced to admit in court that the mine would create less than 1,500 jobs (both direct and indirect)1.
Now, Deputy National Party leader, Bridget McKenzie has made an amazing admission on Sky News, which few people noticed. This is probably because very few people watch Sky News. On whichever program she was interviewed, she stated that Adani will be employing “1500 through the construction phase and around about 100 ongoing”2. So not only have the people of Queensland been sold a series of lies about Labor policies3, they have been sold a lie about jobs in the Adani coal mine.
If you read the Australian Financial Review you would have seen former Howard government minister, Peter Reith, saying that “the coal industry alone provides about 200,000 jobs”. However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics coal mining employs only 37,800 people, less than one fifth of the number maintained by Reith4. As one would expect from a Coalition minister from the Howard government, Reith is not known for his veracity.
Development of the Galilee Basin would displace production in other coal mining areas such as the Bowen and Sydney basins. The coal industry itself, estimates that the employment reduction in other coal basins could be as many as 12,500. In addition, they estimate that Galilee Basin production of 150 million tonnes per annum, would decrease coal volume production from other areas by 116 million tonnes5. This is because the growth in coal demand is slowing6 and investment coal projects is decreasing. Indeed, investment in coal has declined 75% in the last three years7, such that BHP is warning investors and strategists that the decarbonisation of electrical generation, as well as the electrification of transport, may happen faster than expected8.
So why the lies about jobs? That was just a mechanism the Coalition government uses to cover their tracks. They had to have a tagline for their campaign in Queensland and ‘jobs for Queenslanders’ was it. However, it was never about jobs, it was only about sucking in the gullible so the Coalition could win seats in Queensland and thereby the election, while ingratiating themselves with companies to whom they extend such support. This way, the companies will feel obliged to make donations to the Liberal Party, if they have not done so already, prior to this favour. Even better for their coffers is helping the company out with some taxpayer funds. That way the Liberal Party can obtain a bigger swag of cash; this time it is from our taxes. This is how a corrupt government indulges in money laundering. Such practices are not restricted to the Liberal Party, but are now endemic in Australia. This is because of our lax political donation laws which allow this form of bribery to remain secret. It is criminal and it must be stopped.