New Galilee basin mining jobs overestimated

A new report has cast doubt on predicted job numbers for
Galilee Basin coal projects, resulting in a complaint being lodged with the Australian
Consumer and Competition Commission.

The Newman Government has extensively claimed that 27,000
new jobs will be created by four new mines, a figure that has been disputed by economists
at The Australia Institute (TAI).

The notorious left-wing think tank said the Queensland
Liberal National Party has not quoted any source for the 27,000 jobs figure, nor
has it used that estimate in the government’s Galilee Basin Strategy.

TAI claimed only 9280 direct mining jobs would be created by
2030.

Environmental Justice Australia in conjunction with activist
organisation Getup! have lodged a complaint with the ACCC that Indian mining
giant Adani and the Newman Government have misled the public and investors
about the employment benefits of the mine.

TAI executive director Dr Richard Denniss said modelling
used by proponents of Galilee Basin coal projects has been described by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics as ‘biased’, by the ABS as ‘biased’, the
Productivity Commission as ‘abused’ and the NSW Land and Environment Court to
be ‘deficient’.

“There are big problems with these models which assume there
is unlimited labour in the economy and ignore the negative impacts of large
mining projects on other mining projects and other industries like agriculture
and manufacturing,” Denniss said.

“The whole justification for this project has been job
creation claims, but Queensland politicans are using the claims regardless,
backed by TV ads repeating the false figures.”

Denniss said there were other pressures which could affect
the future viability of projects like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

“We’ve recently seen a drop in coal prices and a Galilee
basin proponent going into administration,” he said.

“Even
as a commercial investment this project is risky, with Macquarie Bank
describing the development of the Galilee Basin as ‘ignoring conventional
economics’.”

Adani has predicted the Carmichael Project would create 10,000
new jobs in Queensland, with only 3,500 as direct employment within the mining
industry.

A spokesman for Adani told News.com that the ACCC complaint was “an
increasingly desperate and hysterical activist-driven attempt to deny our state
the significant and lasting benefits that projects like Adani’s bring to
Queensland”.

“Three days out from an election, we’ve got southerners who
aren’t on the ballot paper running an anti-jobs, anti-mining and anti-facts
scare campaign for the Greens.”

Author of the report ‘Are there 27,000 jobs in the Galilee
Basin?’ Rod Campbell pointed out that indirect job calculations were
mathematically certain to overstate the employment impacts of the four new
mining projects: Carmichael, Alpha, Kevin’s Corner and China First.

Calculations for indirect employment in the mining industry
assumed ‘general equilibrium’ modelling that there would be an infinite amount
of skilled labour in the economy, that workers for these projects will not come
from other mining projects or other industries, and that wages and other costs
faced by these projects and other industries would not change in the region as
a result of the projects.

Campbell also showed that growth in the Queensland mining
industry had corresponded with a downturn in agricultural employment, and that
no additional jobs had been created in the manufacturing sector.

Campbell said the reason manufacturing employment had not
changed was that while some parts of the manufacturing industry benefit from
mining spending, others were negatively affected due to labour competition.

Claims that the development of the Galilee Basin coal projects
will create 27,000 jobs are unfounded,” Campbell said.

“Due to the dubious financial viability of the Galilee Basin
projects, even the 9,000 jobs estimate is unlikely to be realised.”

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