Home > Environment > Breaking ground in Adani’s Utopia

Breaking ground in Adani’s Utopia

October 14th, 2017

Having argued for some time that Adani’s Carmichael mine-rail-port project is unlikely to go ahead, I was initially surprised to read the announcement that Adani says it will break ground on Carmichael rail link ‘within days’. My mental image was of heavy earthmoving equipment excavating the route along which the line is to be laid. This seemed surprising to me, since there had been no evidence that the project was anywhere near that stage.

But a closer reading suggests that the “ground breaking” is of the kind seen in a typical episode of Utopia, in which lots of dignitaries are presented with shovels and turn over a piece of dirt, to “mark the official start” of the project. That is, presumably, a different “official start” from the one that was marked by another ceremony back in June. Obviously, this ups the pressure on governments to lend public money to the project since a failure to do so would mean abandoning a project that is “officially” under way.

Categories: Environment Tags:
  1. rog
    October 14th, 2017 at 08:10 | #1

    Adani claim to have contracted GA Services for the construction work. Amusingly, this reporter eventually found the office of GA Services.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/mining/the-hunt-for-adanis-10000-jobs-brings-up-zero-results/news-story/7532705440f71254b658b320d91ed02e

  2. hc
    October 14th, 2017 at 11:24 | #2

    “Obviously, this ups the pressure on governments to lend public money to the project since a failure to do so would mean abandoning a project that is “officially” under way.”

    Ha ha ha.

  3. John Quiggin
    October 14th, 2017 at 11:28 | #3

    @rog

    Yes, that was amusing!

  4. rog
    October 14th, 2017 at 14:47 | #4

    Adani say that they have signed up Downer EDI but a search of their ASX announcements reveal that Adani advise of their intentions to enter into a contract only.

    http://www.downergroup.com/Search/Search.aspx?q=Adani

    Similarly Adani claim a deal with AECOM but a search of AECOM failed to find any mention of Adani.

  5. Collin Street
    October 14th, 2017 at 15:02 | #5

    Marginal cost vs marginal benefit, innit.

    Hiring a couple of gender-nonspecific blokes with hi-viz shovels for a half-day has the same “this project is properly going forward!” visual impact as spending the money on a proper construction start, but it’s vastly cheaper. I mean, it won’t fool the people who look at the underlying cash-flows and economics… but they’re already not-fooled by the, you know, utterly stuffed market the project’s operating in. The marks at the retail funds will be convinced, and that’ll give them another couple of months to play with.

  6. John Quiggin
    October 14th, 2017 at 21:00 | #6

    The main group has allocated them “up to” $400 million. I guess “up to” is doing a lot of work there.

  7. John Quiggin
    October 14th, 2017 at 21:04 | #7

    It seems that AECOM do have a contract, but are keeping quiet about it

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/energyadanis-mine-is-a-black-hole-for-brands-20170911-gyf3om.html

    The contract is to design the railway (some stories say build as well), which raises the question of they can start building when they just contracted the design. The previous engineering team, from Worley Parsons was abruptly sacked a couple of years ago.

  8. rog
    October 15th, 2017 at 04:58 | #8

    Running through the so called deals;

    Arrium are in administration and have been for some time so would not be able to enter into a contract;

    Austrak was for sale, falling sales etc, the promise of more work may have made the business more attractive?

    GA Services seem to be the proverbial man with ute operation;

    Downer only have a letter of intent;

    If AECOM may have a contract to design but for some reason they are keeping it quiet.

    Michael West thinks it’s the con of the century, or centuries

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/adani-trumps-sale-of-manhattan-as-worst-deal-in-history/

  9. Ikonoclast
    October 15th, 2017 at 09:48 | #9

    We are all hoping (in this thread) that these deals will die so no coal is mined at Carmichael. I think there is a high probability these deal will die IF our governments are wise enough and incorruptible enough to NOT give subsidies (free money) to Adani. I am not so hopeful that they are wise and incorruptible enough.

    There are other ways regional Australia can be helped. Instead of giving the money to Adani, give it in grants for worthwhile and sustainable regional development. J.Q. has said as much and more than once.

  10. Collin Street
    October 16th, 2017 at 06:25 | #10

    The thing is… “network externalities” are second-order effects — how people change their actions in response to how they think other people will change their actions — and conservative politicians aren’t very good at working with second-order effects, for reasons I’ve hypothesised about at length. Conservatives cannot build sustainable regional development, they simply don’t have the mental attitudes.

    It’s the same as the carbon-pricing problem, but backwards; the LNP party-room simply doesn’t understand why their faffing about with carbon plans is driving up uncertainty and pricing, because they don’t understand how people’s expectations of the behaviour of others change their own behaviour. If you want a policy depending on “I will do A, and then people will do B in response, and the combined effect will get us C”, then you simply can’t vote for anybody on the Right.

  11. Svante
    October 16th, 2017 at 16:45 | #11

    ABC radio news this afternoon reports the ‘ground breaking’ has been postponed apparently on the hope that the current wet weather in SE Qld will extend to a deluge up Mooranbah way by week’s end. http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/forecasts/moranbah.shtml

    Murdoch’s Curried Snail breaking news today in Townsville reports:

    “AFTER eight years of court battles and bureaucracy, rain has wrecked Adani’s plans for a grand start to its development on the massive Carmichael mine and rail project.

    Its planned ceremonial start to the project for this Friday has been postponed because of concerns about the weather …

    Adani has yet to say when the rescheduled event will occur.”

    Much like the breaking of wind.

  12. paul walter
    October 18th, 2017 at 23:03 | #12

    I always welcome Ikonoclast, for the sense of humour.

Comments are closed.