September 26, 2020

Greens call for investigation into Abbot Point and Adani mine [Cayman Islands named]

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Article Lead - narrow6597199310cp8rimage.related.articleLeadNarrow.353x0.13a0bd.png1423526608957.jpg-300x0By Lisa Cox National political reporter From The Sydney Morning Herald

Uncertainty over massive Queensland mine after election shock and concerns over India’s Adani

The federal government is being urged to investigate the ownership structure of Australia’s largest coal development, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s multi-billion dollar Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

The Greens will move a notice of motion in Canberra calling on the government to “urgently establish which individuals or corporate entities control the Abbot Point coal terminal and the Carmichael mine”.

Article Lead - wide6597199313a2xbimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.13a0bd.png1423526608957.jpg-620x349It comes after a Fairfax Media investigation raised questions about the ultimate ownership of the Abbot Point development, which has been the subject of fierce opposition from environment lobbies because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.

The federal government has not moved to defend Adani, instead calling on Labor in Queensland to vouch for the proponents of the project.

Company documents suggest Gautam Adani does not ultimately control many of the companies associated with his company’s Australian coal developments. Instead his eldest brother, Vinod Shantilal Adani, holds pivotal positions.

Vinod has been named in an Indian criminal investigation into the alleged siphoning of $1 billion from Indian shareholders in three Adani companies into offshore accounts.

A web of companies that appear to be linked to Adani’s coal developments in Australia extends from the low tax regime of Singapore to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.

Article Lead - wide6597199313a2y6image.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.13a0bd.png1423526608957.jpg-620x349Complicating matters is conflicting paperwork, with Indian documents suggesting Adani Enterprises divested its stake in Abbot Point port for $235 million in 2013 to a private Singapore entity for which Vinod is the sole director.

But records held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and annual reports for Adani’s registered Australian companies, continue to name a publicly listed Indian company, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, as the ultimate shareholder for the port.

After the revelations, Greens senator for Queensland Larissa Waters is demanding the government investigate “whether all relevant disclosures have been made to Australian regulators”.

Senator Waters said on Monday: “The federal government needs to urgently investigate who controls the Abbot Point coal terminal and Carmichael coalmine.”

“We’re talking about the biggest coalmine and the biggest coal port that Australia has ever seen. It’s reckless for the government to allow these enormous projects to proceed without even knowing who controls them.”

She said Environment Minister Greg Hunt would have to approve a change of proponent under national environment law.

Mr Hunt said on Monday the opening up of the Galilee Basin was originally a Queensland Labor proposal.

“The federal Environment Department has written to Queensland officials seeking advice on how the state government wishes to proceed,” he said.

“It’s now up to Queensland Labor, if they form government, to determine the suitability of all proponents and confirm their proposal for Abbot Point.”

Environmental advocates are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of Abbot Point and want a full-scale inquiry into Adani’s financial affairs.

“A full and proper investigation into the legitimacy of Adani’s operations and who owns Abbot Point is clearly needed and the possibility of a royal commission should not be ruled out,” 350.org Australia CEO Blair Palese said.

Greenpeace reef campaigner Shani Tager said: “The only sensible response to these revelations is a comprehensive investigation into the Adani Group’s suitability to operate in Queensland.”

An Adani spokesman said on Monday that the ownership structure of its lease at Abbot Point had not changed.

“Adani again notes that the ownership structure of another component of its mine, rail and port projects- the lease of its terminal at Abbot Point- has not changed, as was communicated to Fairfax on January 21 and again on January 22,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that, in selectively quoting Adani’s responses of several weeks ago to the story published at the weekend, an impression has been created that a response stating that the ownership structure has not changed as claimed might mean something other than the ownership structure has not changed as claimed.

“Adani also notes once more that the unchanged ownership of the lease is consistent with its stated position advised to every relevant regulatory authority in Queensland, Australia, and India.”

IMAGES:
Environmental advocates are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of Abbot Point and want a full-scale inquiry into Adani’s financial affairs. Photo: Glenn Hunt
The federal government has not moved to defend Adani, instead calling on Labor in Queensland to vouch for the proponents of the project.
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani. Photo: Glenn Hunt
For more on this story go to: http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/greens-call-for-investigation-into-abbot-point-and-adani-mine-20150209-13a0bd.html#ixzz3RMJ9ev8S

Related story:

Adani’s Australia coal mine hit by ownership controversy

From NERVE.IN

” It also opposes reef dumping under the Saving the Great Barrier Reef policy, and has committed to banning the sea dumping of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”

Melbourne, Feb 7 – Within days of reported uncertainty about Queensland state support for Australia’s largest Carmichael coal mine, the Gautam Adani-led Adani Group project has been hit by controversy again over the ultimate ownership of the Abbot Point lease.

The daily Sydney Morning Herald reported that a Fairfax Media investigation said it appears that Gautam Adani does not ultimately control many of the companies associated with his company’s Australian coal developments. Instead his eldest brother Vinod Shantilal Adani holds pivotal positions.

The report has found a complex web of companies tied to Adani’s Australian coal developments, extending from the low-tax regime of Singapore to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, it added.

Company documents also suggest uncertainty about the ultimate ownership of the Abbot Point development, which has attracted global scrutiny and fierce criticism from the environmental movement because of its closeness to the Great Barrier Reef, it said.

The report said Vinod Adani has been named in a criminal investigation into the alleged siphoning of $1 billion from Indian shareholders in three Adani companies into offshore accounts.

Whatever the truth of the untested allegations, a trail of documents appears to tie Vinod Shantilal Adani to the ownership of the Abbot Point lease, it added.

Commenting on the reports, an Adani Group spokesperson said: Ownership structures of the companies reflect the required level of ring-fencing and financial governance architecture required for a mine, rail and port project, and T1 (Abbot Point) port operations. The above is also layered to meet the various regulatory and funding regimes that apply to these assets.

Earlier this week, the Adani Group said the construction of Carmichael mine will go ahead despite the recent poll victory in Queensland of the Labor Party that is committed to removing taxpayer support for the project.

The result of the Queensland election does not influence the company’s financial decision-making. Adani welcomes the opportunity to work with the new premier to meet and discuss a project that will deliver 10,000 jobs and $22bn in taxes and royalties that the Queensland government needs to invest right back into frontline services in the state, the group said in a statement.

Unlike the exiting Liberal National Party, which promised funds for the 300-km rail line to take coal to the Abbot Point port, the Labor Party has committed removing state subsidies for the Carmichael coal and associated rail projects.

It also opposes reef dumping under the Saving the Great Barrier Reef policy, and has committed to banning the sea dumping of capital dredge spoil within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Coal production in the $16 billion Carmichael mine will start in 2017, with up to 60 million tonnes of coal a year set to be exported, making it one of the largest in the world.

For more on this story go to: http://www.nerve.in/news:2535002442380

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