Home > Oz Politics > A Potemkin HQ? (updated)

A Potemkin HQ? (updated)

June 23rd, 2017

A few weeks ago, Queensland Premier Palaszczuk and Adani’s Australian head, Jeyakumar Janakaraj opened the company’s new Regional Headquarters in Townsville. It was announced that “Townsville will benefit from about 500 jobs in Adani’s regional headquarters and about half of those should happen within weeks”. “Within weeks” can mean anything, I guess but the obvious interpretation is that things ought to be happening about now.

If so, it’s hard to detect from afar.

Update A Townsville reader informs me that Adani’s sign is still adorning its new HQ, though it’s unclear whether there’s anything more than a sign. Also, Adani has reannounced a jobs portal that has been up on its website since January.

Adani’s website doesn’t mention the new RHQ and directs mail enquiries to a GPO Box in Brisbane. The only White Pages entry for Adani is the Brisbane office in Eagle Street.

A little digging produced this intriguing story. The building in question is called River Quays, but widely known as the Telstra building, since it houses a large Telstra call centre and (at least until recently) sported prominent Telstra signage.

Apparently, Adani hired contractors to put up their own sign at the new building, a week before the opening, then told the Townsville Bulletin it had been erected prematurely and would be taken down.

It’s unclear whether or not this has happened. Google suggests that, in addition to Telstra’s call centre, there’s a lot of office space for lease. None of the ads mention Adani’s presence. Inquiries among my limited contacts produced different accounts of whether Adani has in fact leased space in the building.

So, if any Townsville-based readers want to check whether Adani’s sign is still up, and whether staff are being hired, I’d be very interested to find out.

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  1. June 23rd, 2017 at 17:46 | #1

    At this stage it’s a quixotic and hopeless project to correct the record, but. Prince Grigori Potemkin, Catherine the Great’s first viceroy of the newly conquered Ukraine and Crimea, and one if her many lovers, was an outstandingly capable and energetic satrap. He founded entire cities and the great naval base at Sevastopol. The village story was a slur put about by his enemies in St. Petersburg after he organised a triumphal tour of the region, no doubt including window-dressing as well as the real stuff.

    He got the job on ability: Catherine got through a fair number of brainless studs, who were not rewarded with high responsibilities. Russians have always been good at propaganda.

  2. may
    June 23rd, 2017 at 18:46 | #2

    for a definitive trollswarm in action check out the comments at

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/22/ocean-elders-urge-malcolm-turnbull-to-reject-adani-coalmine

    future textbook classic example.

  3. may
    June 23rd, 2017 at 18:48 | #3

    maybe it will display for you.

  4. Svante
    June 23rd, 2017 at 19:54 | #4

    Townsville Bulletin, Tuesday, 20 June, and other Queensland Murdoch rags:

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/adani-launches-online-portal-for-jobseekers/news-story/4e4dc950277d04e150ed9795a6b87042

    There’s not much at the portal link there although it is interesting that three questions ask about past or current military employment. Is it to be a dogs on the waterfront type of mercenary security force to be first deployed against the reef by Adani in a rapidly heating climate?

  5. jrkrideau
    June 23rd, 2017 at 23:50 | #5

    @James Wimberley
    I am not sure but the Potemkin Village idea may have come from him more or less conning the Austrian emperor (Joseph ?) when the emperor was visiting. Catherine was in the South, I think around Odessa.

    The story goes that Potemkin kept supplying the Austrian emperor with set of dubious inns (and prostitutes?) as he traveled to meet Catherine. I think Joseph was weird, even for a Hapsburg.
    d

  6. jrkrideau
    June 24th, 2017 at 00:47 | #6

    @James Wimberley
    Sorry I don’t mean to degenerate Prince (князь I think?) Potemkin, I just think it was likely a political ploy to denigrate him and possibly Catherine.

  7. John Quiggin
    June 24th, 2017 at 13:04 | #7

    @Svante

    And, buried deep in the story is the fact that this portal has been in place since the beginning of the year. I saw it on the site in January.

  8. Svante
    June 24th, 2017 at 14:55 | #8

    @John Quiggin

    The 4th para, “Introduced on the Adani Supplier Roadshow earlier this year..”? Yes, everything old is News again.

    It seems there’s been quite a bit of empty bumping and recycling of media releases and ‘updates’ on the Townsville Adani Regional Headquarters and associated jobs hype since last November at least! On the Townsville hype, I was surprised to read that Townsville mayor, Jenny Hill, has a (microbiology, public health) science background in the SMH, June 9, edited extractof Anna Krien’s Quarterly Essay 65, The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock An engaging read. I look forward to reading the essay in full.

    I learnt elsewhere that Jenny Hill is a Labor mayor who has “23 years’ experience as a scientist with mining companies.” No surprises in those links.

  9. Svante
    June 24th, 2017 at 21:08 | #9

    @Svante
    Karen Middleton has an article in The Saturday Paper today that’s unfortunately a bit of a recycled let down following a promising title.

    Final chapter in Adani loan deal
    ..This week, Adani announced a new jobs portal for anyone interested in working on the project once it proceeds and is hiring senior executives, with plans to begin surveying and pre-construction in September.

  10. Andrew Bartlett
    June 27th, 2017 at 22:26 | #10

    I was in Townsville on Sunday (25th June) – A prominent Adani sign was defintiely still there (also a Telstra sign).

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