The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) has slammed the latest campaign against Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal project in Queensland.
AMMA believes the campaign again misses the point by “using the signatories of dozens of successful, well-paid Australian identities to argue against the project.”
The campaign, organised by businessman Geoffrey Cousins, has seen successful businesspeople, musicians and former sportsmen and Greens Party senators, sign a letter to Gautam Adani claiming his company’s proposed project “does not have wide public support in Australia”.
“There are a number of well-known Australians among the signatories to this petition. No-one begrudges them their successes and any wealth that may have come as a result, but it must be remembered that the Adani project will provide enormous benefits to people and communities who are doing it much tougher,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said.
“During the construction phase, the Carmichael coal mine and railway will inject around $21 billion into the Queensland economy, provide around 10,000 jobs, countless opportunities for small and medium businesses along the supply chain and create a real buzz of economic activity in many rural communities.”
Knott said the job-creating potential of the Carmichael project came in an environment where Australia’s unemployment was rising.
“Australia’s unemployment has risen again to 5.9 per cent – another 6,400 people were made jobless in February alone – and underemployment is staggeringly high with 1.1 million Australians saying they do not have enough work,” Knott said.
“Disproportionate levels of young people who are unemployed or underemployed in Australia are leading to significant social issues such as crime, drug abuse and welfare dependence.”
The Carmichael coal project has been subjected to years of delays, challenges and litigation due to campaigning against its development.
Adani announced in late 2016 that it expects to start construction of the Carmichael project this year.