"Minister for Adani” is back – and pushing for mega coal mine and new coal generator | RenewEconomy

“Minister for Adani” is back – and pushing for mega coal mine and new coal generator

Matt Canavan says his immediate priority is to get NAIF funding for the Adani coal mine and a new coal-fired generator in north Queensland.

Matt Canavan. Not a happy herb.

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Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has wasted no time in resuming his push to have the Adani coal mine brought into production and a new coal generator built in north Queensland.

Within hours of having the queries over his potential dual nationality cleared by the High Court, and reinstated as minister for Resources and northern Australia, Canavan was telling the Murdoch media that Adani and a new coal generator in Queensland were his highest and most immediate priorities.

And the man labelled the “minister for Adani” by environmental activists wants both projects to be supported by the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

“I want to get a coal-fired power station in north Queensland (and there’s no reason) why that cannot be done through the NAIF,” he told The Courier-Mail.

“And I want to get the Adani project over the line.” The Courier Mail quoted Canavan as saying there was no reason the NAIF could not fund that project as well “to ensure the mine can start and begin creating jobs”.

Actually, there may be a whole heap of reasons why the NAIF might not want to support either project.

The Adani mine carries huge risks – financial, environmental, and reputation – and a new coal generator near Townsville is not needed and would likely become a multi-billion dollar white elephant.

Even the Australian Energy Council, a pro fossil fuel lobby group that represents the country’s coal generation companies and major utilities, thinks it’s a dumb idea.

“From my perspective it doesn’t make any sense,” AEC chief executive Matt Warren told ABC Radio in Brisbane this week. “We don’t think it’s anchored around what the market needs, it’s anchored around the politics of energy.”

Roger Price, the CEO of Windlab, which is looking instead to built a 1200MW wind, solar and storage projet in the region, and is about to start construction on the 65MW first stage, says a new coal plant would be useless.

“I’ve yet to find anyone who understands how the network operates who thinks that is the case (that we need a new coal generator),” Price says. You can hear more in the latest Energy Insiders Podcast. 

“Queensland has the largest penetration of coal in the NEM (National Electricity Market),” and the newest fleet,” Price says. “You can’t run a network on 90 per cent coal. It’s just not flexible enough. I don’t know what a new coal generator would do. It could be built, but it might never operate.”

The push for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is even more controversial, as it cannot be done without an institution helping to pay for its rail line to Abbot Point.

And because it will likely open the whole Galilee Basin, including the mines owned by Gina Rinehart and others to development, along with the threats to agriculture, water tables and the Great Barrier Reef.

Adani – and the new coal generator – are likely to be key issues in the coming Queensland state election, which could be called as early as Sunday and held before the end of November.

The Opposition Liberal National Party is firmly behind both Adani and a new coal generator near Townsville, as is the Murdoch media, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, which could emerge with the balance of power in the state, and federal MPs such as George Christensen.

Indeed, Christensen published a full page ad in the Mackay Mercury last week, calling for support for a new coal fired generator, and using out of date data from the Australian Energy Market Operator, to justify it.

The ad claimed that AEMO had predicted a potential “breach of reliability” by 2020/21, and this could be solved with a new coal fired generator.

But that prediction was made in early 201, and the most recent AEMO reports, including one published just a few months ago, suggests there are no reliability issues in Queensland at all, and no need for a new coal generator.


Like Canavan, the push for coal mines and coal generators is a triumph of ideology over engineering and economics. But the danger is that it is so extreme that something potentially equally destructive to renewable energy – the proposed National Energy Guarantee – will be seen as the “middle ground.”

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  1. Joe 3 years ago

    Our worst nightmare has become a reality…’Italiano Matteo’ is now deemed to be dinky di ‘Aussie Matt’ and he is back in the saddle as ‘Rescuers Minister’ riding King Coal all the way to the finish line. We’ve got Two Tongues Turnbull pushing for ‘the old girl’ Liddell to keep creaking along well past its use by date and ‘Aussie Matt’ ready with his trusty shovel to do the first sodding with Mr Adani and then another first sodding to build a brand spanking new Coaler somewhere up north.Climate change, The GBR….I guess it’s just all collateral damage in the overall grand scheme of things. As long as King Coal reigns then The COALition can keep on high fiveing itself.

  2. Jec 3 years ago

    Matt Canavan is Gina Rineharts obidiant pudle.

  3. solarguy 3 years ago

    Once again madness rules. If a FF lobby group strongly suggests it is not needed, then what the hell is Mad Matty doing. But what is just as alarming are the idiots in his electorate who will probably vote him back in, believing that a new coaler is needed. No critical thinking there.

    Beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life down here!

  4. Rebecca 3 years ago

    Australians need to search on-line Board Members of the NAIF & find the very close connections to the coal mining industry & profits they & the company’s they are affiliated with, will make. There should be on huge investigation seems this board is fixed for Adani’s benefit. Who exactly works for Australia & the Australian people, not Matt Canavan

    • Joe 3 years ago

      The NAIF Directors ‘work’ backgrounds are Lawyers and Bankers mostly but who knows what else they are up to. I did spy that Ms Karla Way-McPhail is the one that has a problem…she is tied to the hip with the Coal Industry….no doubt handpicked by ‘Rescuers Minister’, Aussie Matt Canavan…Adani’s $1 Billions freebee is in the bag!

      • Rebecca 3 years ago

        Joe, A few brief point 1. Annabelle Chaplain was board member of EFIC & Director of Downer EDI which has a 2Billion Commercial Arrangement with Adani. EFIC Board Member Ms Chaplain Listed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Downer EDI, Which has a 2BILLION arrangment with Adani to conduct Drilling, Blasting, & Coal Haulage at Carmichael Mine If it goes ahead. 2 Board Members connection to Mining Companies who would Benefit Financially if Adani is Approved. Karla Way-McPhail a NAIF board member also Chief Executive of two Companies that work in the Mining Industry which hires out Labour & Machinery to Support Mining Operations the second Company is Coal Train Australia. All I can say is Investigation

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Send the AFP…Michaelia Cash would surely sign off on an investigation into….’corruption’ ?

    • RobSa 3 years ago

      What about the undisclosed use of digital currencies into politics? I think you will find people like Peter Ashby being paid to advise Hanson in certain ways.

      • Rebecca 3 years ago

        My belief she is out of her depth, but maybe a big swing towards her. Australian population more then not happy with the main two, they have let us down badly & honestly they appear to have no depth not a good look.

  5. Chris Fraser 3 years ago

    An ideological nightmare. If these folks are ever questioned over the supply requirements of AEMO and required to justify only the economic arguments of the matter (not even the environmental ones ) – they are likely to draw a BIG blank.

  6. lin 3 years ago

    If only there was some way of making politicians like Canavan and Joyce personally and financially liable when they force crap like this through against the advice of experts and the will of the electorate. As it stands now, they can sign us up to lose billions and then go and “work” for the company they sold us out to after they get dumped by the electorate, and it’s all perfectly legal, apparently.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      It tells us all what has gone wrong with polity in recent times. MP’s are supposedly elected to govern the country for the benefit of us here today and the generation/s that follow. But what do we get instead…the like of ‘Aussie Matt’ and ‘Kiwi of the Year’, Bananabee Joyce, who advance the interests of rent seeking lobbyists and those companies / industries that make electoral contributions to The COALition….the system is broken, dare I say corrupt.

      • Rebecca 3 years ago

        Joe the sad fact is they want our political wages & then some. You know how Canavan loves working for Adani, & I thought he worked for us.

        • Alex Hromas 3 years ago

          Take bottled water to Queensland and only drink imported beer they put funny stuff in the water up there and hence a lot of them think One Notion is great and climate change a nasty Communist Chinese plot.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            Alex, Q.L.D has no upper house to keep the ba*****s honest, their only recall, if they are not happy with what goes on, is to stack political parties. Must say they have the figures worked out? Then we have Rupert Murdoch press. No they don’t think One Nation is great, they are trying to punish the two main parties who let them done time after time. Remember no upper house, only person who takes on Rupert Murdoch is Tony Fitzgerald. So both parties plan to stop that by becoming a Republic.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            The Republic of Queensland? They will have to change the name ‘Queens’…land just won’t work as name.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            No Joe just have to visit the USA who have Presidents, so many of their towns, places are named after English Towns, actually all over the World rather funny though when they think, their Ancestors lived in the USA well before it was settled. Joe you can’t wipe out the past leave it there & learn by it. We will not be better people or citizens until we can learn from History, then like Germany only country I believe who actually teaches the truth about their history. Name’s are nothing, people are everything. Would this World be better if we all thought alike no rather boring, & it would mean we were completely brain washed. Do not want that for my family, not part of my family values. Now I will have to stop the philosophy & its nice to have you back Joe.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Hello again Rebecca. Funny you should mention Germany. My parents are German, I’m born here… Dual Citizen? I won’t start on that issue, another fiasco for Turnbull & co. Yes, Germany confronts its WW 2 past headon. But the future is all about RE and Germany is in the forefront as a rich, western economy making the RE transition. There are challenges but Germany is not chucking in the towel. To give up by saying..’das geht nicht’…is not an option in Germany.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            Joe I have a lot of respect for what Germany has done after WW2 they put so many obstacles in place to make sure Germany was kept down, but the people learnt to be very thrifty they saved & continue to save & Is a World Leader today. I cannot understand our Australia following blindly countries without a thought. I saw a program once were a reporter travelled the World & asked the questions on Education, Health, their values he was American & was told they got their information from the American Independence declaration, he was amazed America had forgotten or taken for granted. These place’s looked at the Independence Declaration & became successful in Education, Health, & many more. Joe my stepfather family came from Germany. My children’s Grandparents are of German descent my father in law of German origan was in the Australian Light Horse. Oh & Joe on a lighter note you not thinking of running for office are you? Ha Ha don’t forget to dot your Is & cross your Ts

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Rebecca, my parents come from Hamburg, Dad in ’52 and Mum ’54. Me being the first born of three children I naturally receive the traditional German name, Joachim. Aussies could never pronounce Joachim correctly so from young age I am called …Joe. You are right about ‘German thrift’. It is a value that I and my siblings grew up with and has stayed with us throughout. I’ll just finish by adding that these days the only time I am called Joachim is when Mutti is cross with me! Alles gute Rebecca.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            Joe when I see my son in-law Dutch, I will ask him how to Pronounce Joachim. I think our Princess Mary brother in has the same name.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Rebecca, please try….’Yo ah k him’…but quickly…it is very close. On my query a day or so ago about Adani and the missing but promised ‘October first sod’ of the Carmichael Mega Mine…the answer was on last nights (1/11 ) ABC 7.30 show. You can see the story via ABC Iview. In short the ‘first sod’ is delayed due to….bank financing not yet secured..What a surprise NOT !!!!!! But another public revelation is that Townsville and Rockhampton Councils signed an agreement to build an airstrip at the proposed mine site…$36 millions of ratepayers money for FIFO workers. More ‘subsidy’ for Adani !!!!!

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            Joe Yes I search & receive the Petitions from Townsville, I put my information out there & sign the Petitions with the people of Townsville. You may not find me. I use other id, the people are angry & take a Petition signed by over 50 thousand. Trouble is I put a petition in awhile ago our Annastacia Palaszczuk State Government says its up to Local Mayor. Our Ombudsman is so closely tied with Government so no use. Some one has said they are applying to crime & misconduct? May be mistaken with name. I have said Tony Fitzgerald needs to investigate. The only Good news is the Catholic & Church of England Bishop speak out against Adani who have tried to accuse them, but Adani will not win agains them. These two church’s will hold big sway in the community & a big number of voters, so this is Good. Wish I knew the Best people to help change this. And wish Tony Fitzgerald became involved. I was born in Sydney & NSW person until a few years ago. Joe I do what I can

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            And Annastacia Palaszczuk plays a dangerous game.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            Joe my 2nd great grandfather & grandmother were born in Cornwall on my mother’s side. On my Father side my 3rd times great grandparents were born in Ireland so I am of Celtic origin. The Celtic people originated in Europe.

    • RobSa 3 years ago

      Because the risks from burning coal are known, plausible deniability is ruled out.

    • Rebecca 3 years ago

      Possibly an $11 Billion loss, courtesy of taxpayers we have been taken to the cleaners.

  7. Tim Buckley 3 years ago

    The Minister for Adani is back for sure. Economics and stranded asset risks go out the window – coal is good for Matteo and so coal is the answer, regardless of logic. So it will take a billion dollar subsidy? No problem with the NAÏF board just going to do as directed by their minister, regardless of their fiduciary duty.

    • trackdaze 3 years ago

      Is the NAIF chipping into any of the raft of renewable projects in North Qld.

      Adani isn’t a foreign patsy for others to mine the Galilee basin?

      It’s Duty seems to be a cover for fossil fuel subsidies.

    • bedlambay 3 years ago

      NAIF has no morecredibility than Cash’s puppet ROC and the AFP.

    • ID635 3 years ago

      Wow, Tim Buckley, from the Institute of Slagging Adani in the media is downbeat on the Adani project, again… What a news flash…

      Give it a rest mate..

      • RobSa 3 years ago

        We hate coal.

        • ID635 3 years ago

          Coals ain’t coals.

          The higher energy content of Australian coal means less needs to be burned to create the same amount of electricity.

          The fact remains that today, coal is the cheapest way for developing countries to advance theirs economy.

          Therefore if you care about the environment you should be encouraging the use of Australian coal in preference to the rubbish Indonesian and domestic Indian coal being used. Specifically, the Carmichael coal mine.

          These facts may not suit you but they remain facts anyway.

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            I think the facts are well & truly out there for anyone to find.

          • ID635 3 years ago

            Depends where you look I guess

          • Rebecca 3 years ago

            All the Good experts online is the best place.

          • ID635 3 years ago


          • Joe 3 years ago

            Your line 2 and line 3 …you taking the piss. Nah…you a Trolli.

    • ID635 3 years ago

      Nice piece in the Guardian Tim. I thought the Carmichael project was supposed to be unbankable, stranded asset etc?

      Which is it?

      Is is unbankable, or does the project stack up and being financed by the Chinese?

  8. Robert Westinghouse 3 years ago

    The science is clear, the rest of the world is moving away from coal, so the LNP MUST be taking some hard drugs or big brown paper bags to go against the whole world. Poor old Gran can barely afford the power bills because of the LNP. We chip in to help her…I know this is widespread. Shame on you LNP…. Shame….

    • Joe 3 years ago

      The Elon was on TV last Sunday night with Liz Hayes on 60 Minutes. The Elon was visibly moved, almost to tears, when Liz Hayes told him that people were going without food to help pay power bills. Here we an outsider, the Elon, in our country who seems to genuinely feel people’s pain. As opposed to what we get from our Federal Government who just keep playing political games….exhibit A Joshie F. on 60 Minutes with Liz Hayes.

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