Adani Australia should be given a fair go

Sydney, 10 February, 2018

Many of us have been following various reports coming out of print and digital media, and various television and radio channels relating to the Adani’s projects in Australia. As you would be aware that this has been the largest investment by an Indian company in Australia and has become a signature project strengthening ties between Australia and India. Adani has invested a lot of resources and time on its projects in Australia and continued to progress in-spite of huge resistance coming from anti-coal groups.

The information that we gathered from the publicly available information, they have invested over $3.3 billion in Australia since 2010. We as a community have been closely watching and monitoring the progress of this project and of late are getting very concerned about how a project of this magnitude is being unfairly targeted.

The projects that are being undertaken by Adani is a private investment and we normally do not comment on the positions taken and decisions made by a private company. However, the reports coming out of the media have caused us serious concerns as a community who love the Australian way of life and believe in providing ‘fair-go’ to everyone irrespective of one’s affiliation to a particular community, race, or sexual orientation.

We strongly feel that we are not giving a ‘fair-go’ to Adani, and we have been creating one hurdle after another. Again, based on the publically available information, we understand that Adani’s projects have gone through onerous approvals processes (at federal, state and local levels). These approvals were challenged at various courts of law (including the matters relating to the impact on environment), and after due consideration of all the facts, and based purely on the merit of the projects, decisions were given in favour of the company. Once the company has followed the due process and has adhered to the law of the land in which the projects are being developed, we believe they have full right to proceed with the business. If we raise the same issues that have already been considered during the approval processes and the court processes then we are conveying the message that either we do not wish to follow the verdict of the law or we are ignorant about the process undertaken. In either situation, this impacts negatively the company that is trying hard to develop the project.

We were dismayed with the backflip from Qld Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, during last election after supporting Adani Group for years. Crash politics was at play in her decision.

Our dismay is compounded with recent statements from the leader of the Opposition, Mr Bill Shorten, who seems to put his party’s interest before Australia’s interests. Votes of anti-investment Extreme Left groups in Batman seat of Melbourne are more important.

It is becoming very clear that the activists disguised as the protectors of the environment are not only disregarding the law of the land but also, to some extent, undertaking unlawful activities. This is clearly demonstrated by the protests to stop the rail traffic or disturb the operation of the port and creating life threatening situations.

We are also disturbed by the fact that the politicians (especially those with far-left views) are using the project for their political benefit. This is evident from the recent election in Queensland and the upcoming by-election in Batman – governments who have made various comments in media supporting the project in the past are back-flipping at the time of election to capture green votes. The parties may be able to garner few additional seats by using these petty tactics, however, we strongly believe that it undermines the fabric of a “fair go” and the Australian way of life.

In a democratic society, everyone’ voice needs to be heard. It applies to both the sides- activists as well as that of the proponents of the projects. Also, the oppositions should be based on facts and not on some ill-informed views and opinion.

Some important facts are:

– India is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide on a per capita basis

– There are over 300 million Indians that do not have access to power

– The project is intended to provide electricity to thousands of villages in India

– Will generate significant jobs in Australia

India has been one of the fastest growing economies of the world. India with its huge middle-class population, in need of improving the standard of living of its masses through provision of luxuries of life, which we as Australians take for granted, is on the cusp of becoming one of the largest economies of the world. Australia is very well placed to benefit from the growth of India. The success of Adani project will provide a very positive message to the Indian investors who are looking to invest in a stable and investor friendly country. The trade between India and Australia will suffer a massive blow if we let our petty politics to jeopardize investor sentiment.

Adani Fact Sheet:

Adani has been building a long-term future with Queensland and Australia

Adani’s presence in Australia

• Adani commenced its journey in Queensland, Australia more than 7 years ago when it acquired mining tenement in August 2010 and have its presence in following business:-

• Adani Australia is developing the “Carmichael Coal Mine” project which will be the first mine in the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland.

• Adani Australia is developing multi user, open access 388 km Rail linking the mine to Abbot Point Terminal

• Adani Australia owns and operates existing Abbot Point Port Terminal.

• Adani Australia is progressing 2 solar projects located at Rugby Run, Queensland and Whyalla in South Australia

• Over $3.3 billion has been spent to date on the projects. It is the largest Indian Investment to date

• Adani Australia currently employs more than 800 people across all our operations.

Environment & Approvals Journey

• The Carmichael Coal Project has been granted approvals under 7 different Commonwealth and Queensland Acts.

• Adani has obtained 112 approvals and permits from both State and Federal government

• There are over 1,800 strict conditions across these permits and approvals.

• Adani had ZERO land holder objection to the Carmichael Coal Mine under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 or Mineral Resources Act 1989.

• Their approvals have been tested in the courts and Adani has won ALL the court cases to reach this stage

• All the litigations were filed by anti-coal NGOs to delay and disrupt the development.

• Adani has all the agreements (ILUA) in place with all 4 Traditional Owners. Only a minority of one group (W&J) has challenged the agreement which has been funded by foreign NGOs through back channels.

• In Summary, Adani has been subject to rigorous and at times multiple approval processes over nearly 8 years at both State and Federal level that have been tested and upheld in the courts resulting in net delay of approximately 3 years

Benefits of Project

• Adani Australia will create more than 10000 direct and indirect jobs at full capacity of mine

• Over $22 Billion in the form of Royalties and taxes which shall be reinvested by government into community

• The Coal from Carmichael project will replace the poorer quality of domestic coal burn in India and will reduce the associated carbon emission

• This project is intended to provide energy security to those in the 18000 villages in India that have no access to electricity and thus lifting millions of Indians out of energy poverty

• Will build a strong economic relationship between Australia and India

Important links:

https://t.co/46a86ELGGY

https://t.co/kG4N3H4FMo

https://t.co/jG8Amy1uiy

https://t.co/v2kvEhzpPr

As concerned people, we appeal to both sides of politics to provide confidence to the investors in Australia by providing unequivocal support for the Adani project who have spent years to obtain approvals from the government and through the court processes.

We as Australians should certainly provide assurance to the investors that Australia is open for business and would assist anyone who follows the law of the land with full support and protection for it to grow and at the same time benefit all Australians.

Finally, ALP and Bill Shorten should listen to people, Mayors and Union leaders operating in regional Queensland, who are supporting this investment, instead of listening to anti-investment extreme Left activists and groups. Bill Shorten and ALP should give a “Fair Go” to Adani Australia, and not backflip this late in piece after saying YES for years.

There are formal processes to go through for any development. If Adani Australia complies with all those conditions they have any right to go ahead with the development. One should be challenging the process that gives the approval, not the applicant.

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

Citizenship Audit for All Members of the Parliament should be done 

Sydney, 4 Nov, 2017 

Initially, it was “Citizenship Seven”, about which the High Court of Australia gave its verdict on Friday, 27 October, 2917. 


Section 44 of Australian Constitution debars  dual-citizens from becoming members of Australian Parliament (The Senate and the House of Representatives).

Barnaby Joyce (The National Party member and Deputy Prime Minister), Fiona Nash (The National), Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), Larissa Waters (The Greens) and Scott Ludlam (The Greens) were declared ineligible to sit in the Parliament. Matt Canavan (the Liberal National Party) and Nick Xenophon (The Nick Xenophon Team) were declared eligible to be in the Parliament. Even before the judgment, The Green senators had already resigned and Nick Xenophon had declared his intention to quit the Senate to focus in South Australian politics. 

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-27/how-did-the-high-court-rule-on-each-of-the-citizenship-cases/9094676

Subsequently, Stephen Parry (President of the Senate) declared himself to be a dual-citizen and resigned from the Senate. 

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-01/stephen-parry-confirms-he-is-a-british-citizen/9106558?pfmredir=sm

Now, there is a controversy about Josh Frydenberg (a senior Ministet in the Coalition Government) whether he is a dual-citizen too.

http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/government-minister-josh-frydenberg-may-be-dual-citizen-of-australia-and-hungary/news-story/99ac66dd1269dcf91e8cb60db2361ab5

There is some confusion and speculation whether there are more dual citizens, hence ineligible members, in the Parliament. 

This uncertainty needs to be dealt with. The Government and the Parliament must be freed from the uncertainty about what decision involving ineligible members might later be challenged. The focus must be in the respective jobs, not on dual citizenship. The distraction must end. 

People must have the confidence that laws passed by the Parliament are indeed passed by only those who are legally entitled to be in the Parliament. 

The best strategy here will be to do an audit of citizenship status of every member of the Parliament. A committee of reputed jurists, chaired by a retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, should be tasked to do the job in 2 months. 

With many members of the Parliament demanding it and with Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten coming around with his support for this audit, it’s time that Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, agreed with the citizenship Audit for all MPs and Senators. 

Dr Yadu Singh

http://www.facebook.com/DoctorYaduSingh

http://www.twitter.com/dryadusingh