Project approval delays costing Queensland $3.9bn: report

A new PwC report has highlighted the significant cost delays to major projects has to the Queensland economy.

The report, commissioned by Adani, compares the changes in timing of major projects and identifies the results of these delays, indicating an estimated loss of $3.9 billion over the next decade to 2023-24.

Adani is continuing in efforts to develop integrated rail, mine, and port infrastructure for its Carmichael coal mine, with construction initially expected to begin in 2012-13 and first coal produced by 2016.

It includes the development of the 60 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) coal mine in the Northern Galilee Basin; a direct standard gauge rail route connecting the mine to the Port of Abbott Point (North Galilee Basin Rail); and an expansion of the port to increase capacity from 50 to 150 Mtpa (Terminal o Expansion).

However, due to several approvals processes and legal challenges presenting delays, construction has been pushed back to 2017.

The report found an estimated reduction of 2665 jobs over the coming decade due to these delays with a cost of $275 million incurred by Adani. The company’s losses include external expert costs – primarily the legal and consulting costs related to Land Court, internal staff costs, holding costs for maintaining a workforce during the delay, and redesign costs.

In addition, an extra year of delays would lead to a further $1.3 billion GSP cost loss and an added $53 million to the company.

Adani has been facing several environmental legal battles with the approval of Carmichael coal mine. It had a series of stop-start issues based on its environmental and conservation plans.

It’s most recent halt, which it soon won, came after the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO QLD) filed a motion to stop work due to inconsistencies in its environmental protections for native animals, including the Ornamental snake and the Yakka skink.

The EDO has since filed another motion on behalf of community group Coast and County to review the lawfulness of the project.

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